A drug dealer from Anfield was jailed for running a £4,300 heroin and crack dealing operation in Devon while he was on the run from the police in Liverpool.

Adam Powell moved to Devon after he and his younger brother Scott had slashed the face of a complete stranger outside a shop in Molyneux Road, Kensington.

He was arrested 19 days later while he was living in a vulnerable woman’s home as a ‘cuckoo’ and using it to deal drugs on behalf of a Merseyside gang.

Powell recruited the tenant as a runner and he was caught when police spotted her delivering drugs in Paignton, South Devon. She waved back at her flat to warn him but police swooped before he could get away.

The drugs raid happened almost four years ago but there was a series of delays.

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He and his brother were both jailed for six years at Liverpool Crown Court in January 2018 after they admitted wounding with intent and having a knife in a public place.

Powell, aged 29, of Bala Street, Anfield, Liverpool, admitted possession of heroin and crack cocaine with intent to supply and was jailed for three years by Judge Timothy Rose at Exeter Crown Court.

He told him he was knocking 18 months off the sentence because of the long delay and the progress Powell has made.

The judge said: ”The wounding occurred just 19 days before this arrest. You had nothing to do with Paignton at all. You are a young man from Liverpool with previous convictions in that area.

“You were down here for one reason and only one reason; to involve yourself in the supply of class A drugs.

“At the time you had been involved in a very serious incident on the street in Liverpool and you knew there was every likelihood you were wanted in connection with it.

“You did not let that distract you from getting involved in this very serious criminal activity a couple of weeks later. You were not concerned or inhibited by it.

“This was a depressingly familiar County Lines type of operation in which people from cities like Liverpool target rural areas and towns.”

Liverpool's courts are some of the busiest in the UK, with a huge variety of cases being heard each week.

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Mr Ian Graham, prosecuting, said police saw a woman selling drugs in Paignton on June 29, 2017, and realised that a County Line gang were using her flat.

He said 237 wraps of drugs with a street value of £4,370 were found in a coffee jar and £500 cash, scales and a 'drug phone' were seized elsewhere in the flat.

Mr Kevin Batch, defending, said Powell has pressurised into selling drugs in Devon because he had a class A drugs habit and owed money to a gang in Liverpool.

He has turned his life around since being sent to prison since January 2018. He has taken numerous courses and become a mentor to other inmates.

Adam Powell
Adam Powell, 26, of Bala Street in Anfield

In the previous case, Powell and his brother Scott, now aged 27, of Cambria Street, both admitted wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Victim Ionel Craciun, then aged 36, fought them off with a shopping bag full of bottles after they attacked him outside a corner shop on June 10, 2017.

Mr Craciun was treated at the Royal Liverpool Hospital for a shallow 11cm wound above his left ear. Scott handed himself in to police, but Powell fled to Devon.