Business as usual as Force investigators secure lengthy jail terms for offenders during lockdown
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A man wielding a machete, drug dealers and sex offenders are among those jailed following work by investigators at Staffordshire Police since lockdown began in late March.
Although the lockdown – which began on March 23 – has brought challenges for the Force, Detective Chief Superintendent Jav Oomer who heads up Investigative Services, said detectives had continued to secure convictions and deliver jail sentences for offenders across Staffordshire.
In April Adam Shaw was sentenced to 28 years for attempted murder following a machete attack in Norton, Stoke-on-Trent. Two detectives who worked on the case, detective constables Louise Gallimore and Phil Pegg, were commended for their work by Judge Jonathan Gosling.
Last week Cannock burglar Ian Shepperd was jailed for 45 months after admitting a break-in and an attempted burglary in Cannock and near Stafford. The week before, distraction burglar Thomas Doherty was jailed for 44 months after stealing cash from an elderly lady’s house in Burslem while pretending to be a utilities worker.
Officers have also recovered tens of thousands of pounds from convicted offenders using the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA). This included £31,000 from drug dealer Tariq Khwaja who was jailed for nine years in 2018 after a large amount of cannabis was discovered in laundry bags when his car was stopped on the M6.
A gang of Romanian men were jailed for stealing copper wire near Lichfield. Detectives have also secured a number of convictions for sex offenders including Lukasz Wesolowski, 38, jailed for nine years in April for attempted sexual assault in Stafford; Pavel Ocneanu, 30, jailed for seven years in June for rape in Hanley; Joshua Taylor, 24, jailed for nine years in May for rape and sexual assault in Tamworth. Burton man Braden Rae, 44, was jailed for eight years in June for three counts of rape in the town in 2014/15.
“Covid19 has changed the way we work - as it has for all police officers and emergency service workers across the UK – but we continue to work hard to keep people safe across Staffordshire.
“I’m proud of the way my officers have continued to do their job, although they’ve had to be more adaptable and react quickly to changes perhaps more than ever before.”
Ch Supt Oomer said detectives were used to adapting and dealing with incidents at very short notice, but the outbreak of Covid19 had made flexibility and balancing workloads essential to ensure we deliver the best service during a pandemic.
“It’s been well reported that the outbreak has led to rescheduling of cases in crown court and magistrates and, of course, changes to the way we process those in custody for the benefit of everyone’s safety.
“We use protective equipment where necessary and we have to look at the risk factors when we attend any incident. However, it is important people understand this does not stop us doing our job. We’ve had to adapt and that’s been challenging but we continue to work hard to bring offenders before the courts and this does not stop because of Covid19.”
To report crime contact Staffordshire Police via 101 or social media or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.