[A] “DANGEROUS” teenage crime gang leader who brutally robbed a Carlisle drug user inside his own home has been jailed for 14 years.
Braden Moreton, 19, lashed out with a hammer, a wrench and even set about the infirm victim with his own crutch inside a Lightfoot Drive flat in Harraby on February 7 last year. The 50-year-old’s serious injuries included a broken jaw and he had a footprint left on his face; he was robbed of cash and belongings, and later placed in an induced coma in hospital after being beaten over a drug debt he claimed not to even owe.
Moreton denied robbery but was convicted by a Carlisle Crown Court jury following a trial late last year. The teen had previously admitted being concerned in the supply of class A heroin.
Police have described Moreton and another Liverpool-based crook, Sean Cleaver, as “dangerous” lead members of a gang who brought violence and heroin dealing to Carlisle. Drugs were transported from Merseyside and – amid a process known as “cuckooing” – distributed from a “nest” located above the robbery victim’s Harraby home.
Moreton was jailed today (THURS) and given an extended three-year licence period by Judge James Adkin, who had described the “extreme” violence meted out to the robbery victim as “verging on torture”.
It had amounted, Judge Adkin concluded, to a “punishment beating” of a “defenceless man”.
Moreton’s sentencing came a day after jail terms totalling more than 20 years were handed down to four other crooks.
Kelly Scott, 37, of Alexander Street, Carlisle, received nine years for robbery. Gary McCaffrey, 47, of Balmoral Court, also Carlisle, and Stuart Baker, 22, of Southport, were jailed for seven years and four years 10 months, respectively, for being concerned in the supply of heroin.
Craig Metcalfe, 37, of Lightfoot Drive, Carlisle, had a 20-month jail term suspended for two years after he admitted the heroin crime.
Cleaver, 24, of Gresham Street, Liverpool, who also admits the heroin supply crime, is said to be currently on the run from police.
Detective Constable Sam Johnson said: “This was a criminal gang that was intent on supplying Class A drugs for their own financial benefit and would use violence and intimidation to enforce their activity.
“Moreton, along with Cleaver, led this group and would transport drugs from the Merseyside area into Carlisle before distributing from the Lightfoot Drive base.
“Cuckooing is a tactic used by drug supply groups that is on the increase. Drugs groups will target vulnerable members of society and will often involve violence, intimidation and the offer of money or drugs to take control of a property. From there they will look to exploit local drug users and can quickly lead to numbers of people indebted to the organised crime group.
“Keeping people safe is our main priority and we want to prevent local members of our communities being exploited. The public have a role to play by sharing information on those dealing drugs in their local area. With this information we can investigate and disrupt activity making that area safer.
“Working together we can clean up communities by putting pressure on those that ruin lives and line their own pockets.”