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Police search for missing girl in Norwich finds flat being used to sell drugs

PUBLISHED: 16:35 18 April 2018 | UPDATED: 16:47 18 April 2018

Kobe McKinlay was sentanced to 2 years in a young offenders institute for possession of class A with intent. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

Kobe McKinlay was sentanced to 2 years in a young offenders institute for possession of class A with intent. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

Norfolk Constabulary

A search for a missing girl led to police finding a Norwich flat which had been “cuckooed” by London drug dealers as a base to sell drugs, a court heard.

Brian Reece, prosecuting at Norwich Crown Court, said police were carrying out enquiries into a missing girl on November 21 last year when by chance they discovered the Latimer Road flat being used to sell heroin and crack cocaine with a street value of £3,000.

Kobe McKinlay, 20, from London, was found at the flat and messages on a mobile phone he used uncovered a number of drug-related text messages and £166 cash was also recovered.

Mr Reece said there were individual wraps of crack cocaine and heroin as well as a larger parcel of drugs waiting to be cut down to street deals.

He said even while officers were at the address there were calls coming in on the mobile from people wanting drugs.

McKinlay admitted possessing class A drugs with intent to supply and was given two years in a young offender institution.

Michaela Friend, 29, admitted allowing her Latimer Road flat to be used for drugs and was given a 12 month community order with a six month drug treatment requirement and 120 hours unpaid work.

Sentencing them, Judge Anthony Bate said there seemed to be an “endless supply” of young men who were sent from London to Norfolk to deal drugs and said the flat in Latimer Road had been taken over for that illicit purpose in a move known as “cuckooing”.

He said: “There seems to be an endless supply of young men that will put themselves in peril in this way.”

He added that McKinlay was sufficiently trusted to bring the drugs to Norwich and said the amount of drugs involved had a considerable street value.

Adrian Macho, for McKinley, said that he came to Norwich to sell drugs to pay off a drugs debt and had been acting as a runner.

“He was clearly being directed by others.”

He said he pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and had shown genuine remorse.

“He did not bury his hand in the sand. He took responsibility for his foolish actions.”

Danielle O’Donovan said that Friend also deserved credit for her guilty plea.

She said Friend would co-operate with any community order.

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