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Ellesmere Port man jailed for drug dealing offences

A 20-year-old man from Ellesmere Port has been jailed for class A and B drug offences.

John Gratrix, of Parklands, Little Sutton, pleaded guilty to three charges of possession with intent to supply controlled drugs – class A drugs heroin and crack cocaine and class B drug cannabis – at Chester Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 30 April.

He was sentenced for the offences at Chester Crown Court today, Tuesday 28 May.
Gratrix was jailed for 32 months.

His offending came to light on Sunday 28 April after he had been seen by officers acting suspiciously on Station Road in Ellesmere Port at around 9.30pm.

At that point Gratrix attempted to run away. He was pursued by officers on foot, who caught up with him on Church Street.

Whilst attempting to flee Gratrix dropped a draw-string bag containing class A and B drugs, a quantity of cash and drug paraphernalia, including plastic bags and scales.

Officers seized the bag and its contents and arrested Gratrix.

Later that night officers executed a search warrant at Gratrix’s home in Little Sutton, where further class A and B drugs and drug paraphernalia were seized from his bedroom.

The overall street value of the heroin, crack cocaine and cannabis found in Gratrix’s bag and in his bedroom is estimated to be around £30,000.

When questioned by police Gratrix claimed that he had been coerced into possessing the drugs and drug paraphernalia by an unknown man.

But he later admitted the drug dealing offences he was charged with.

Following Gratrix’s sentencing, Detective Constable Stuart Wood, of Ellesmere Port Local Policing Unit (LPU), said: “Through vigilant officers spotting a man acting suspiciously, a drug dealer and a substantial quantity of illegal drugs have been removed from our streets.

“Removing such drugs and those who supply them from our communities is of paramount importance as they have a hugely detrimental impact, causing widespread misery.

“Gratrix showed a clear disregard for the law and I am delighted that he is now behind bars and no longer able to blight the area with illegal drugs.

“Drug dealers often think they are beyond the law and I hope that this case sends a strong message to those involved in the supply of illegal drugs that they are not invincible and will be caught and brought to justice.”

Gratrix will face a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing at a future date focusing on his ill-gotten gains.

Chief Inspector Alex McMillan, also of Ellesmere Port LPU, added: “I would like to thank all the officers involved in the case for their sterling work in securing this conviction.

“While this investigation has now concluded, our fight against criminals who plague our neighbourhoods with illegal drugs continues.

“I urge anyone with any information about suspected drug related activity in their community to contact us at Cheshire Constabulary. Your concerns will be listened to and we will investigate the matter.

“Together we can stop those who cause so much damage to our communities through the supply of illegal drugs.”

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