Further to last week's article about the three people who were sentenced as part of a county lines probe into Class A drugs in Stroud, here is the full court report:

A DRUG dealer risked his life by jumping from a third floor window to escape a police raid - but fell straight into the arms of a constable standing on the ground below, a court heard last Friday.

Chilah Mathew, 26, of no fixed address, had 'cuckooed' the flat of a vulnerable drug user on Matthews Way in Stroud, and was trading in heroin and crack cocaine from the property, Gloucester Crown Court was told.

Mathew, formerly of Wessex Land, London, admitted possessing the drugs with intent to supply and was jailed for five and a half years.

Also before the court were Isobel Jones, 41, of Bowbridge Road, Stroud and Laura Simons, 26, of Matthews Way in Stroud. Jones admitted supply of cocaine and heroin and Simons admitted possession of crack cocaine and possession of a bladed article.

Prosecutor Giles Nelson said that at 10.30am on April 29 this year, police spotted Simons, who they believed to be a drug user, cycling to a flat near Bowbridge Lock, Stroud.

“When she departed she was arrested and searched by police and was found to be in possession of a lock knife contained in her small rucksack bag," said Mr Nelson.

“She also had 17 wraps of crack cocaine in the bag and 12 wraps of heroin in her bra and these matched the drugs seized from Mathew.

“Her phone was later analysed and it revealed that people were also asking her for drugs.

“The property that Simons had just come out of was raided by police, who discovered a county lines drug operation being carried out inside and found Jones was in the property.

“Mathew, fearing that he would be caught, decamped out of a third floor window but fell straight into the arms of a waiting police officer below. He was immediately arrested.

“The police officer had been alerted to movement as Mathew had discarded a shoulder bag just moments before he jumped out of the window.”

The court heard that the property was searched and that a large amount of drug paraphernalia was found, along with an iPhone which had been used to send out group text messages to up to 78 Class A drug users at a time in the Stroud area.

There were also photographs on his phone showing that he was involved in the preparation of drugs as far back as October 2019.

Mathew, who had been running the 'CJ Line,' was found with £4,280 worth of heroin and crack cocaine which was seized during the arrest along with £5,978 in cash in his bag.

Mr Nelson added: “There is no evidence that Jones was operating as a direct runner for Mathew. The flat had effectively been taken over by Mathew and she took advantage of the situation to supply drugs to her own friends.

“She wasn’t being controlled in the normal sense of somebody being cuckooed, but was an occasional street dealer at a very low level for her own friends.”

Sarah Jenkins for Mathew said: “This offence was committed as a direct response to an earlier conviction and was drafted in to manage the drug supply chain as a means of paying his own debt back.

“When he was released from prison in September last year he returned home but slipped back into the only life he knew of dealing drugs and left the family home and became homeless.

“His life of drugs originally began when he was told to leave the family home at the age of 14 and he became easy prey for dealers and became a runner for a drugs gang."

Matthew Harbinson for Simons said: “The lock knife was found in her bag. It was for her own personal security and was not used on this occasion.

"She keeps it on her as she suffered a significant amount of violence as a child, making her feel vulnerable.

“When she was arrested she was found to be in possession of 29 street deals of both crack cocaine and heroin, which was for her own personal consumption.

Mr Harbinson for Jones said: “She is somebody who is struggling with a class A drug addiction.

“Jones clearly had no insight as to how much trouble she was in. She was co-habiting with Mathew at the property and this situation became known amongst her circle of friends.

“Jones explains that she was only supplying a small amount of drugs to her own friends and had nothing to do with Mathew’s countylines drug operation.

She has stated that if she had known that by simply doing a favour for a friend that she would find herself in the middle of a force nine gale within the criminal justice system, she would not have got involved in the first place.

“She made no financial gain from these transactions and had been homeless until she lived at this flat.

“She states that she had been drug free for nine years but that her depression and anxiety had returned and she sought solace and found comfort by using heroin."

Recorder Robert Bright QC told Mathew: “This offence is your third drug trafficking conviction. You jumped out of a third floor window and landed very close to a police officer below who promptly arrested you.

“Investigations revealed that you were managing the CJ drugs line in Stroud and had recently returned from London to restock your supplies.

“I accept that you have had a difficult life for which you were transient during most of your adult years.”

The judge noted that Jones made no financial gain from dealing and had no involvement in the CJ drugs line.

He also observed that Simons had bought the drugs for her own personal use and that the knife was not used to threaten anybody.

The judge sentenced Mathew to five years and six months in prison; Jones was sentenced to a jail term of two years and Simons received a 111 day prison sentence, suspended for a year, and was ordered to take part in a six month drug rehabilitation programme and undertake seven rehabilitation activity requirement days.

The judge also ordered the forfeiture and destruction of all the drugs and paraphernalia and the confiscation of the cash found on Mathew and for it to be donated to Gloucestershire Police’s drug and crime prevention programme.