Blackpool drug dealers wait years for justice after attempted murder probe

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Jayson Kaul, Martin Standrell and Francis Shannon have been jailed for their crimes at Preston Crown Court

Iddon Court, in Blackpool

Iddon Court, in Blackpool

Three men who sold drugs in Blackpool had to wait years to learn their fate after two were suspected of attempting to murder their co-defendant.

Police were called to Iddon Court in Blackpool on May 19 in 2019 after receiving reports of a violent attack.

When they arrived officers found Francis Shannon in the street with a serious stab wound to his neck.

When officers followed a trail of blood they found Jayson Kaul and Martin Standrell.

At Preston Crown Court yesterday (June 2) prosecutor Beth Pilling said: “The offences date back some time to 2018 and 2019 and the reason matters have taken as long as they have is in relation to the attempted murder of Mr Shannon which resulted in no further action, allowing the drug matters to proceed.”

When officers searched Standrell’s flat in Iddon Court they found 12 wraps of crack cocaine weighing a total of 7.37g on Kaul and five wraps of MDMA on Standrell.

A later search of the flat, on May 21 last year, revealed further drug paraphernalia including weighing scales and snap bags and it was concluded the address had been used by all three to sell drugs dating back to November 2018.

Other evidence found at the scene showed drugs had been posted out directly to users through Royal Mail with customers able to pay by bank transfer.

Some drugs had been posted as far as Northern Ireland

“Two mobile phones were attributed to Mr Shannon, both contained various messages involving drug supply,” Miss Pilling said.

“One mobile phone was attributed to Mr Kaul with drug supply messages on that device.”

Police also found reference to stun guns and knives in the premises but “the suspected stun guns were confirmed not to be that”.

On Kaul’s mobile phone a search revealed he had looked up on Google “how to wash up half a gram of cocaine”.

He had also sent a message to Shannon in which he suggested “taking out” one of their major competitors.

When Kaul, 41, and Standrell, 34, were interviewed by police they both made no comment.

The court heard Shannon, who suffered life-changing injuries in the knife attack, now has limited mobility on his left-hand side and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The 36-year-old, of Parkfield Road in Liverpool, also remained silent during his police interview. He was said to have travelled to Blackpool from Merseyside to sell drugs from Standrell’s flat.

In mitigation Standrell, of Avondale Road North, Southport, claimed Shannon and Kaul had “groomed him” but the judge said he had still played a significant role in the supply of MDMA.

The court heard he “recognises the gravity of the situation” and had been addicted to a number of different drugs at the time of the offences.

The court heard Standrell had sold MDMA to 29 different people via Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram and by text message.

Kaul, who is originally from London, now has a one-year-old daughter and his barrister, Rachael Woods, said he is “now a very different person”.

Kaul and Shannon both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs while Standrell pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs.

“Class A drugs are toxic, dangerous and spread misery,” Judge Harris said.

“You all entered voluntarily into your crimes purveying these toxic substances.”

Shannon, whose sentence was reduced “as an act of mercy to reflect the injuries he suffered”, was jailed for two years and eight months.

Standrell, said to have lived “a chaotic lifestyle” at the time of the offence, was jailed for 54 months.

Kaul, of Station Road in Blackpool, was jailed for three years.