Drug users snared in undercover sting

POLICE trapped three drug users in an undercover operation in Stevenage, a court heard. One of them, Yvonne McCollum, had also tried to con £147,000 out of a retired woman s bank account. McCollum, 53, Peter Arnott, 30, and Kane Corroll, 24, were all caug

POLICE trapped three drug users in an undercover operation in Stevenage, a court heard.

One of them, Yvonne McCollum, had also tried to con £147,000 out of a retired woman's bank account.

McCollum, 53, Peter Arnott, 30, and Kane Corroll, 24, were all caught by undercover cops called Dave and Jake who used covert recording equipment to trap drug dealers in Stevenage and Hitchin, Luton Crown Court was told.

Prosecutor Ruth Field said the "test purchase" officers would buy crack and heroin. Arnott would help arrange a deal for "a scrape" or a "pipe" of the drugs. The other two defendants had acted as runners for the dealers.


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She said that on April 16 last year McCollom had gone into Lloyds TSB in Stevenage and attempted to transfer £147,000 from Maureen Roberts' account to an Italian property account.

She had produced a fake passport with her own photograph on it in the name of Mrs Roberts. Two days later she tried to move £147,450 from the same account when she went to Lloyds TSB in Dover.

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Both attempts failed and McCollum was identified from the bank's CCTV.

McCollum, of Ripon Road, Stevenage appeared for sentence last week having pleaded guilty to two counts of supplying Class A drugs and one of fraud.

Arnott, of Vardon Road, Stevenage admitted six counts of supplying Class A drugs and two of offering to supply. Corroll, of Wilcox Court, Stevenage admitted seven counts of supplying Class A drugs.

Alisdair Smith, for Arnott, said he had acted simply as a go-between for the undercover officers. "He is not even a runner." He said Arnott was trying to stop taking drugs.

For McCollum, Benjamin Douglas-Jones said she had been dependent on heroin for 10 years and had been spending £140 a week on the drug. He said she had got into debt to her drug suppliers and was "forced into the fraud".

Mr Douglas-Jones said Corroll had been involved in the lowest level of street supply. He said that at the time he had been suffering from depression.

Judge John Bevan QC told McCollum she had been involved in a "serious identity fraud". He said: "Dealing in Class A drugs is a pernicious activity. The police are quite right to conduct operations to crack down on it."

McCollum was sentenced to a total of 22 months, Arnott to two years and Corroll to two years.

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