Jailed in Norfolk in April: Men who set fire to piglets, dangerous drivers and drug dealers

PUBLISHED: 09:43 02 May 2019 | UPDATED: 13:52 02 May 2019

Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Jamie Honeywood. David Johnson, William Donkoh. Photos: Norfolk Constabulary

Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Jamie Honeywood. David Johnson, William Donkoh. Photos: Norfolk Constabulary

Norfolk Constabulary

Here is our monthly look back at some of the criminals who were jailed in Norfolk courts in April.

David Johnson. Photo: Norfolk ConstabularyDavid Johnson. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

David Johnson

Johnson, 26, of St Thomas' Road Hemsby drove a silver Ford Mondeo at speeds of more than 100mph forcing drivers on the Acle Straight in Great Yarmouth to take evasive action in order to avoid a collision.

The incident took place on October 26, 2017, when the 26-year-old failed to stop for police as he was driving on the Acle Straight.

Footage released by Norfolk Police, shows the Ford Mondeo overtaking a police car before weaving in and out of oncoming traffic in a desperate attempt to get away.

Officers made an appeal for Johnson following the incident and he handed himself into police in January 2019.

On April 7 he was given a 12-month prison sentence and disqualified from driving for three-and-half years at Norwich Crown Court.

Matthew Coward and Timothy Reeves

Two brothers were found to be responsible for a string of raids at sports and social clubs after a member of the public reported one of the burglaries while it was happening.

Matthew Coward, 34,of Mill Road, Little Melton, and Timothy Reeves, 40, of Key and Castle Yard, Norwich, had been carrying out a burglary at GC's Cafe at an industrial estate in Brooke.

Matthew Coward. Photo: Norfolk ConstabularyMatthew Coward. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

Norwich Crown Court heard a member of the public heard “banging” and then saw two men, one wearing a balaclava, trying to break into the cafe.

Wayne Cleaver, prosecuting, said the witness called police while the burglary was being carried out on January 24 this year.

Reeves was arrested at the scene while Coward, who had “decamped”, was later found at home in his bed.

Following cell site analysis both defendants were found to be in the vicinity of a spree of burglaries carried out at sports and social clubs across Norfolk and Suffolk between February and April last year.

Mr Cleaver said a total of 20 venues, 14 in Norfolk and six in Suffolk, were targeted by the brothers.

During the course of the burglaries there was a total loss of £47,619, including more than £17,000 worth of property taken and in excess of £30,000 worth of damage.

Sentencing the brothers to 28 months each in prison Judge Stephen Holt said these were not “big empty factories” that had been targeted by the brothers, but small clubs used by people.

Charlie Blackwell

Blackwell, 28, of Fraser Street, Thetford, had already been disqualified following a previous conviction for dangerous driving when he stole his partner's VW Golf on March 2.

Timothy Reeves. Photo: Norfolk ConstabularyTimothy Reeves. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

Norwich Magistrates Court heard the car, which had been reported as stolen, was spotted by police who put on their blue lights and followed it into Theobald Road, Norwich.

Victoria Bastock, prosecuting, said the car came to a stop after entering a cul-de-sac and two people, including the defendant, ran from the officers.

Miss Bastock said they were followed on foot and crossed a railway track. She said Blackwell tripped over one of the tracks and was arrested.

He appeared at Norwich Magistrates Court for sentence on Friday, April 12, where he was jailed for a total of 18 weeks by city magistrates.

As well as previously admitting to taking a vehicle without owner's consent on March 2 this year, he also admitted driving while disqualified, using a vehicle without insurance, failing to stop, and trespass on railway property on the same dates.

In addition Blackwell had also admitted driving while disqualified, using a vehicle without insurance, failing to stop after an accident and failing to stop after an accident following a separate incident on London Road, Attleborough on September 29 last year.

A drug gang

Great Yarmouth was “flooded” with crack and heroin by the summer of 2017 by the Deano line - one of many county lines seeking to exploit vulnerable drug users in the seaside town.

On Friday, April 12 at Norwich Crown Court, members of the gang were sentenced to a total of 57-and-a-half-years in prison after police snared them in an undercover operation called Kimble.

William Donkoh. Photo: Norfolk ConstabularyWilliam Donkoh. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

The leader William Donkoh, 31, of Brooksby's Walk, was jailed for 12 years.

Glonar Thomas, of Berger Road, was jailed for seven years 11 months and fellow enforcer Sebastian Arenas-Valencia, of Wick Road, for 10 years, both in a young offenders' institution.

Sarah Williams was jailed for four years nine months, Debbie Thain for 40 months, Jodie Burt for 30 months, Lisa Vincent for four years, Tatjana Reinis for seven years and Irina Rasimovic for six years - they acted as runners.

Matthew Goddard

Goddard, 31, of no fixed abode, had been picked up in a taxi but did not have the money to pay for the cab and was taken to the Tesco car park in Belton, near Great Yarmouth where he was going to get some money from his cousin.

Norwich Magistrates Court heard that Goddard was asked to leave something, like a phone, in the car to ensure that he came back.

Jane Walker, prosecuting, said he started shuffling about before “producing an axe from his left-hand side” and said “this is all I've got to leave you”.

Goddard got out of the taxi and ran off after he could not get the money to pay for the cab.

A few days later the court heard how Goddard had been at an address in Yarmouth when police attended.

Gloner Thomas. Photo: Norfolk ConstabularyGloner Thomas. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

Officers had been there to deal with another person but after seeing Goddard, who had tried to leave through the back door, went to arrest him.

Goddard failed to comply with officers who used pava spray to help try and detain him and after his hands were placed in cuffs he thrust out towards one of the officers striking him in the face and was later tasered.

Goddard, who appeared in court last month via videolink from Peterborough Prison, admitted possession of an axe in a public place on January 10 this year.

He also pleaded guilty to making off without payment on the same date and assault by beating of an emergency worker, a police officer, on January 15 this year.

In addition Goddard admitted a total of six thefts of alcohol and other goods from shops in January and February this year.

He was jailed for a total of 26 weeks and ordered to pay a total of just over £100 to three of the stores he stole from as well as the taxi driver who he made off without paying.

Arron Whitehead

Whitehead, 26, admitted burgling five homes in the space of just two weeks in Downham Market earlier this year, targeting properties that appeared empty - including the home of a 98-year-old who had been moved into care.

Last month prosecutor Martin Ivory told Norwich Crown Court all of the break-ins involved “a fairly rudimentary smashing of a window”.

Sebastian Arenas-Valencia. Photo: Norfolk ConstabularySebastian Arenas-Valencia. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

Among the items he stole were an engagement ring, service medals, and a £8,000 ring.

Jailing Whitehead for two years, Judge Katharine Moore told him he left his victims feeling “nervous in their own homes”.

Mohammed Yaseen and Sarko Bahmani

Last month Norwich Crown Court heard how police stopped a Toyota Prius on the A11 at Cringleford, on November 13, discovering a rucksack in the footwell that contained 396 wraps of cocaine and 255 wraps of heroin.

Oliver Haswell, prosecuting, said Mohammed Yaseen, 19, was bringing the drugs to Norwich from London in a taxi, and fellow passenger Sarko Bahmani, 21, was found to have a machete hidden down his trouser leg when searched.

Yaseen, of St Michael's Road, Bedford, admitted possession of heroin and cocaine with intent to supply and was jailed three years and Bahmani, of Gladstone Street, Bedford, admitted a single charge of being in possession of an offensive weapon and was given six months detention.

Kobi Simmons-Cunningham

Norfolk police stopped a BMW being driven by Kobi Simmons-Cunningham, 21, at the Thickthorn roundabout at about 2pm on Tuesday, March 12 and found more than £8,000 worth of drugs, a lock knife and mobile phones inside.

One of the phones contained texts showing involvement with a dealer group in Great Yarmouth.

Tatjana Reinis. Photo: Norfolk ConstabularyTatjana Reinis. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

Simmons-Cunningham, from Sydenham in London, appeared in court on Friday, April 26, having admitted two counts of possession with intent to supply a Class A drug, one count of possession of cannabis, one count of possession of a knife, driving whilst disqualified, using a motor vehicle without insurance and acquiring criminal property.

Simmons-Cunningham has 12 previous convictions for 26 offences but this was his third conviction for possession with intent to supply class A drugs, meaning he was subject to a mandatory minimum term of seven years in custody.

Sentencing him to a total of 71 months in prison, Judge Maureen Bacon told the defendant it was “upsetting and depressing to find someone just 21 facing a custodial term for this offence but you've earned it”.

Carlos Nunes

Nunes, 25, was a passenger in a Citroen hire car which was stopped near the Thickthorn roundabout after it had been reported as stolen by the vehicle hire company, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Chris Youell said that police stopped the car after the registration flagged up that it was stolen and when officers searched the vehicle a bag containing 301 wraps of crack cocaine with a street value of £3,000 was found in the car, in which Nunes was a rear seat passenger.

Mr Youell said: “It was not the wisest thing to have used a car that was reported stolen if you are couriering drugs.”

He said the DNA of Nunes was found on one of the bags containing the drugs and said there was also a small amount of cannabis found which Nunes said was for his own use.

Nunes, from London, admitted possession of crack cocaine with intent to supply on March 12 and was jailed for 40 months.

Samantha Williams. Photo: Norfolk ConstabularySamantha Williams. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

Marcus Derbyshire, Steen Lawrence and Joseph Abbott

Marcus Derbyshire, 25, and Steen Lawrence, 21, were behind eight arson attacks on farms in the Northwold area over a three-week period in 2017.

Their actions caused more than £10,000 worth of damage and left dozens of pigs either burned alive or so badly injured they had to be put down, Norwich Crown Court heard on Friday.

Richard Kelly, prosecuting, said they carried out the arson attacks at weekends and on one occasion killed 25 piglets in a blaze and on another killed 10 piglets and a lactating sow in a fire. They also set two geese alight in a field at Ickburgh.

After the attacks, Mr Kelly said farms in the area employed extra security, along with increased police patrols, and Derbyshire and Lawrence were caught red-handed after setting fire to a shelter in a field, off Brandon Road, on June 24, 2017, in which seven piglets were burned alive and three others had to be put down.

A third defendant, Joseph Abbott, 23, was also with the pair that night.

Derbyshire, of Yew Tree Drive, Brandon, was jailed for three years and Steen Lawrence, 22, formerly of Newmarket, was given an eight-year extended sentence after both admitted conspiracy to commit arson in June 2017.

Abbott, of Watson Close, Corby, admitted one count of arson on June 24, 2017, and was jailed for 15 months.

Debbie Thain. Photo: Norfolk ConstabularyDebbie Thain. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

Lisa Vincent. Photo: Norfolk ConstabularyLisa Vincent. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

Irina Rasimovic. Photo: Norfolk ConstabularyIrina Rasimovic. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

Arron Whitehead. Photo: Norfolk ConstabularyArron Whitehead. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

Mohammed Yaseen. Photo: Norfolk ConstabularyMohammed Yaseen. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

Kobi Simmons-Cunningham. Photo: Norfolk ConstabularyKobi Simmons-Cunningham. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

Carlos Nunes. Photo: Norfolk ConstabularyCarlos Nunes. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

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