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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Neil Docking

Faces of 23 people jailed in Liverpool this week

This list includes 23 people locked up for crimes linked to Merseyside this past week.

Our courts heard about an evil dad who murdered a young mum, leaving their daughter without either parent, in a brutal and cowardly killing. Meanwhile, one judge sentenced a serial sex predator who targeted young students that he saw as his "playthings".

Drug dealers were locked up for spreading misery across a town including flogging their wares in children's playgrounds and in parks. They were brought down by their greed and stupidity.

READ MORE: Schoolboy stabbed in 'revenge' attack after young dad's murder

Disturbing cases included a thug who battered an innocent woman in an unprovoked street attack. Another involved a paedophile caretaker finally brought to justice after years of trying to hide his dark past.

A judge also had to sentence a child rapist who had a sickening stash on his computer. Here is an overview of some of those which have concluded this past week.

Nigel Diakite

'Monster' dad Nigel Diakite murdered a young mum next to their sleeping baby.

Diakite launched a brutal attack on N'Taya Elliott-Cleverley on the day she was moving out because of his domestic violence. He strangled her to death with a skipping rope in bed, while their four-month-old daughter was in a cot next to them.

The 19-year-old claimed he couldn't remember carrying out the killing at their Wavertree home - despite confessing to it afterwards. Diakite, aka Mohammed Diakite, blamed mental health problems and even accused his 20-year-old victim of assaulting him.

But he was found guilty of murdering his partner at their Prince Alfred Road flat, in the early hours of Friday, January 29, 2021. Diakite, who was accused by the victim's family of crying crocodile tears in court, was jailed for life with a minimum of 19 years.

Charles Goodwin

Charles Lawrence Goodwin Jr, 21, of Hilbre Street, Liverpool city centre (SUPPLIED PICS)

Charles Goodwin raped a student and sexually assaulted another while under investigation for an earlier rape.

A judge said the 21-year-old business management student - who described himself to one victim as a "sex god" - didn't care whether his victims consented. Judge Garrett Byrne said the young MMA fighter treated each of his victims as a "plaything or toy" and at the heart of his crimes lay "a deep-seated misogyny where women are to be treated as nothing more than sex objects".

Goodwin, of Hilbre Street, Liverpool city centre, but formerly of Salford, was found guilty of three charges of raping one student in Manchester, attempting to choke her, assault by penetration and assaulting her. After that attack in January 2020, he then struck the following September, after he had started studying at the University of Liverpool.

He was convicted of raping a second student at her accommodation in the city - though cleared of two other rapes of her - and convicted of two offences of sexually assaulting a third student just three days later. He was cleared of assaulting a fourth student by penetration.

Goodwin was jailed for 17 years, with an extended three years on licence.

Adam Bacha

Adam Bacha deliberately poured fuel on a petrol station forecourt and set it on fire.

He demanded money from the till at the Shell garage in Derby Road, Bootle, at around 10.30pm, on September 3, 2021. Bacha told shop assistant Diouff Venicius he would set a petrol pump on fire if he didn't comply and then made good on his threat.

Mr Vinicius, armed with a fire extinguisher, doused the flames before they got out of hand, preventing a potential catastrophe. Bacha, of Fleetwood Road, Southport, admitted arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered and attempted robbery.

The 30-year-old, who has five previous convictions for 20 offences, was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. He was handed a hospital order and Merseyside Police did not provide his mugshot to the ECHO.

Shane Unwin's drug gang

Shane Unwin, 27, of Hale View Road in Huyton (Liverpool ECHO)

Dimwitted drug dealer Shane Unwin alerted police to his exploits after carving his name and address into a branch on the territory he sought to control.

He scratched his nickname - 'Onion' - the Huyton estate he lived on - "Longy" meaning Longview - and the message "f*** the drug squad" into a tree, close to where his dealers flogged crack cocaine and heroin in Great Sankey Valley Park, Warrington.

Callum Cargin, 26, of Knowsley Lane, Huyton (Liverpool ECHO)

Under his leadership a 'Onion' drugs line bombarded addicts with a "mass advertising" campaign that saw customers sent up to 178 drug deal offers a day. Those messages were dispatched by a "graft" phone that detectives were able to link to Unwin, whose gang was busted after every significant member - including him - dealt to undercover police officers - between October 2020 and May 2021.

Jack Murphy, 20, of Nightingale Road, West Derby (Liverpool ECHO)

Cheshire Police found evidence that between 1.5kg and 3kg of heroin and crack cocaine was sold while the gang was active - though the court heard the real amount could be higher. Each of the defendants had admitted conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine, apart from Kris Bamford, who only admitted conspiracy to supply heroin.

Paul Ellis, 56, of Rixton Avenue, Warrington (Liverpool ECHO)

The gang's ringleader Unwin, 27, of Hale View Road in Huyton, was jailed for eight and a half years. Second in command Callum Cargin, 26, of Knowsley Lane, Huyton, was jailed for six years and eight months.

Darren Houghton, 49, of Trafford Avenue in Warrington (Liverpool ECHO)

Junior gang member Jack Murphy, 20, of Nightingale Road in Croxteth Park, was locked up for three years. Paul Ellis, 56, who dealt drugs from his home in Rixton Avenue, Bewsey, Warrington, was jailed for two years and eight months.

Kris Bamford, 36, of Whitecross Road, Warrington (Liverpool ECHO)

Darren Houghton, 49, who dealt drugs from his Trafford Avenue, Bewsey home, was jailed for three years. Bamford, 36, whose home in nearby Whitecross Road, Whitecross was used as a safehouse by the gang, was jailed for three years.

Paul Bennetts

Businessman Paul Bennetts was jailed for lying on oath to the courts in a battle over intellectual property.

The 70-year-old also failed to attend a High Court hearing - claiming he had Covid - but failed to provide "satisfactory evidence" of this. Bennetts, of Southport, became embroiled in a legal row over the rights to a medical face cushion used on patients lying in the prone position.

His group of companies, EC Medica Group (ECMG), sued a firm called CS Medical Limited. Bennetts claimed CS Medical had infringed ECMG's intellectual property rights and its directors had misused confidential information.

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However, ECMG had in fact sold its intellectual property rights to JMW Resources Ltd for £100,000, days before the start of a trial in 2018, a sale Bennetts signed off on, but failed to mention in court. CS Medical countersued and ECMG was ordered to pay £233,000 in costs within 90 days. It failed to do so and some of the companies in the ECMG group were placed into liquidation.

ECMG had secretly transferred its assets to Design Build Ltd (DBL), established by Bennetts' brother Michael, which sold those assets to JMW Resources. The assets, sold for £100,000, included all of ECMG's intellectual property rights, meaning the original trial was pointless.

Bennetts was committed to prison for 12 months. The ECHO does not have a picture of him.

Patricia Hills and Mark Hills

Mark Hills, 44, of Turn Pike Road, Aughton (MerPol)

A mother and son ran a waste yard where rubbish was illegally stored and burned.

Police and the Environment Agency (EA) took part in raids at MWM Recycling Ltd in August 2018. Two men were arrested and several vehicles seized at the site on Redfern Street in Kirkdale.

Patricia Hills, 69, was in control of the site and her son Mark Hills, 44, was responsible for its day-to-day running. The EA said MVM Recycling's environmental permit was revoked after a number of breaches and the firm was issued with an enforcement notice. But waste continued to be stored and illegally burnt on site.

Patricia Hills, of Moss Delph Lane, Aughton, admitted five offences, including failing to comply with environmental permit conditions and knowingly permitting the deposit of controlled waste. She was jailed for 12 months. Merseyside Police said it did not have a mugshot of her.

Mark Hills, of Turn Pike Road, Aughton, pleaded guilty to two counts of failing to comply with environmental permit conditions. He was jailed for eight months.

Alex Nicholson

Alex Nicholson said texts telling addicts he was "about all day and night" were only offering cannabis and ketamine for sale.

The convicted cocaine and heroin dealer was stopped by police in a Renault Megane, in Everite Road in Widnes, on January 16 this year. Officers searched the car and didn't find any drugs, but in his jacket pocket discovered a Nokia described as a "burner type mobile phone".

The device was found to contain outgoing "flare" messages, offering drugs for sale, to known addicts in Northwich, Cheshire. Nicholson, 29, of Lakenheath Road, Halewood, was originally charged with two offences of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs.

However, prosecutors accepted guilty pleas to two offences of offering to supply Class B drugs, because the texts did not specify what drugs he was selling. He was jailed for three years.

Declan Connerton

Declan Connerton, 26, of Sefton Close in Kirkby (Liverpool ECHO)

Declan Connerton battered an innocent woman in an unprovoked street attack that led to her having several teeth removed.

He followed his victim and her friends after they got off a bus, hurled abuse at them, then punched his victim to the ground and kicked her up to five times, knocking her unconscious. Connerton's attack happened in the early hours of July 4 last year as a group of women travelled home on the 10A bus from Liverpool to St Helens.

After they got off on Warrington Road, Whiston, a fellow passenger did the same and told them he was worried for their safety because of Connerton’s behaviour, before the shocking attack unfolded, leaving the victim in constant fear. Connerton, 26, of Sefton Close in Kirkby, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm.

He was jailed for 18 months.

Mark and Matthew Little's drug gang

Mark Little, 38, of Town Hill in Warrington (Liverpool ECHO)

A street dealing gang sold hard drugs to addicts next to a children's playground.

The "Lenny Line" told customers there was "no waiting, no debating" as they peddled heroin and crack cocaine. The Class A dealing network operated on the streets of Warrington between December 2020 and May 2021.

During that period 8,647 text adverts were distributed and between 940g and 1.88kg of Class A drugs were believed to have been dealt, leading to sales that could have amounted to £188,000. The gang was sunk by Cheshire Police after gang members made eight sales to an undercover officer posing as an addict.

Matthew Little, 34, of Melville Close in Warrington (Liverpool ECHO)

Mark Little, 38, of Town Hill in Warrington town centre, led the line, with the help of his younger brother, Matthew Little. He admitted conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin as well as dangerous driving, driving whilst disqualified, driving with no insurance, possession of cocaine and failing to provide a specimen, relating to an incident in the area in March 2021. Mark Little was jailed for 11 years.

Anthony Westhead, 46, of Melville Close in Warrington (Liverpool ECHO)

Matthew Little, 34, of Melville Close, Orford, Warrington, admitted conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin. He was jailed for three years.

Anthony Westhead, 46, of Melville Close, Orford , who ran a graft called "Scouse Billy", also became involved in the operation. He admitted conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin.

Barry Jones, 52, of Algernon Street in Warrington (Liverpool ECHO)

He was also sentenced for an incident that saw him caught with up to £6,500 of heroin and cocaine secreted inside him in Wales in August 2019. He was jailed for nine years.

Street dealer Barry Jones, 53, of Algernon Street in Fairfield, Warrington, admitted conspiracy to supply crack cocaine. He was jailed for three years.

Michael Wright

Michael Wright, 54, formerly of Southport (Liverpool ECHO)

Child rapist Michael Wright was caught with a collection of extreme pornography.

He was found deleting content on his laptop when police visited his home to check he was complying with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order. The device was seized and more than 150 images of bestiality were discovered - along with Google searches for more depraved content - in June 2021.

Wright, from Southport, was previously jailed for seven years in 2016 after admitting a string of child sexual offences including three counts of rape. The 56-year-old former HGV driver admitted possessing extreme pornography and breaching a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

He was jailed for six months.

Robert Jones

The dark past of former primary school and college caretaker Robert Jones was exposed in court.

The 70-year-old was a caretaker at Sudley Junior School in Aigburth in the early 1970s. While working at the school the then 20-year-old exposed himself to two little girls in the toilets.

But he went on to get a job at Liverpool Polytechnic, which later became Liverpool John Moores University. During this period he subjected a little girl to depraved sexual abuse, which has only now come to light, in the 1970s and 1980s.

Jones, of Hardie Avenue, Moreton, Wirral, denied any wrongdoing, but was found guilty of five counts of indecent assault and one count of indecency with a child. He was jailed for five years.

Yoann Lou, Martin Pearson and Gareth Lewis

Yoann Lou, 39, of Wharncliffe Road, Old Swan (Northumbria Police)

A huge police operation saw a drug gang including three men from Merseyside brought to justice.

More than 160 police officers from across the North of England took part in an operation that saw around £600,000 of heroin, £18,000 in cash and six luxury cars seized in November 2019. Arrests were made in strikes in Sunderland, County Durham and Merseyside, which saw 15 properties raided, after a group was found to be ferrying drugs from Liverpool to Wearside.

Martin Pearson, 32, of Aspes Road, West Derby (Northumbria Police)

Yoann Lou, 39, of Wharncliffe Road, Old Swan, admitted conspiracy to supply heroin and breaching a previous suspended sentence for possessing Class B drugs with intent to supply. He was jailed for six years and five months.

Martin Pearson, 32, of Aspes Road, West Derby, admitted conspiracy to supply heroin. He was jailed for six years and five months.

Gareth Lewis, 44, of Minver Road, West Derby (Northumbria Police)

Gareth Lewis, 44, of Minver Road, West Derby, admitted conspiracy to supply heroin and possessing heroin with intent to supply. He was jailed for two years and 10 months.

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