Top Rugby drug dealer left with nothing to show for his criminality

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ONE of the “very leading lights” in the Rugby drug scene had nothing left from his £18,000 drug-dealing activities with his partner.

Christopher White and Claire Ellis were jailed earlier this year for nine-and-a-half years after being snared as part of the police’s follow-up to the high-profile Operation Laser.

White, 36, and Ellis, 28, both of Worcester Street, Rugby, had pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to conspiring to supply heroin and also admitted supplying crack cocaine to an undercover officer.

When they were sentenced, a separate ‘confiscation hearing’ under the Proceeds of Crime Act was adjourned for an investigation to be carried out into their finances.

At a resumed hearing this week in relation to White, Judge Alan Parker said White was not at court because he had “refused to get on the prison transport”.

Prosecutor Neil Bannister said it was agreed White’s benefit from his drug-dealing activities had been £18,120.

But he had no assets, so Judge Parker made a nominal confiscation order of £1.

At the original hearing it was said that between June and November last year Ellis made 128 trips to Birmingham to buy heroin from her supplier Riasat Ali, who has been jailed for ten years.

She was driven there by various people including, on five occasions, an undercover officer calling himself Al who was posing as a drug-user.

Based on the 2.71 grams she had when a car she was in was stopped in October, averaging one-and-half trips a day, over a three-month period she had bought heroin worth up to £24,000.

Gareth Walters, prosecuting at that hearing, described Ellis and White as “not only partners in life but partners in drug-dealing”. They were “very leading lights” in the Rugby drug scene, and while Ellis did the running around, White was answering the phone and taking messages and would act as an “enforcer” with customers.

But Mr Brook commented: “Ali was leading a comfortable lifestyle, and Your Honour should contrast that with the life of Ellis and White back in Rugby living in a one-room bedsit.”

Of each eighth of an ounce, she and White would use a £10 deal each and sell the rest, making a £10 profit, he said, adding: “It was two users who were supporting their own habit.”

The judge who jailed them had said: “You had substantial links with and influence on others in the supply of class A drugs in Rugby. You, Ellis, were seen to be more active, but you were living together and were involved in this conspiracy together.”