Drug gang who defended Norwich house with gun used teenagers as a 'patsy'
PUBLISHED: 09:06 19 September 2019 | UPDATED: 13:25 19 September 2019
A woman whose home was cuckooed by "violent" drug dealers has described being beaten and threatened with a gun.
Her property at Triumph Court in Bowthorpe was taken over in 2016, by Londoners who defended it with a handgun and took deliveries of thousands of pounds of crack and heroin.
The gang also brought 19-year-old Fartuna Ahmed from London to Norwich to help them run the operation.
On Tuesday at Norwich Crown Court Ahmed was spared jail after a judge told her she had been used as a "patsy".
She told the probation service she had been ordered to deliver a package and was driven to Norwich before being forced to work at the Triumph Road house.
Prosecutor Richard Kelly told the court the homeowner had been "ousted" from the home but managed to return.
In a witness statement she said she saw members of the gang coming and going and "large quantities" of drugs being sold.
She first met Ahmed in November 2016.
"The defendant was left alone in charge of the house that night and carried on the work of handling and dealing the drugs - thousands of pounds worth," said Mr Kelly.
"The gang had a black handgun kept at the property for protection, and [the witness] thought the gun was real.
"Whether it was real or not, who can say."
The homeowner also said she saw a girl of 14 or 15 delivering a large package of drugs to the house.
By November 22 the homeowner had left to stay with a friend and was at the Co-Op on Dereham Road when she was shouted at by a man she knew as the "enforcer".
"This defendant was with him and stood nearby as he tried to persuade her to come back to the house," said Mr Kelly. "She refused and he threatened to hurt her. He grabbed her before pulling her to the ground and kicking her about the head and the body."
The witness managed to escape into a passing car, but she said the man "brought out a black handgun and pointed it in her direction".
Ahmed and the man were arrested nearby but no charges were brought against him. He is now serving a sentence for separate offences.
Police searched the house at Triumph Court and found a "torpedo" of drugs in a child's bedroom - 100 wraps of heroin and 399 of crack cocaine.
DNA found on the wraps matched Ahmed.
Before her sentencing, she told a probation officer she had been threatened and coerced into delivering a package to a secret location.
"I knew it was probably drugs but I was scared and felt I had to to do what I was told," she said. "I was driven to Norwich by a man I don't know and taken to a house.
"When I asked if I could go back to London I was told the car had gone and I had to stay and help.
"I felt stranded and frightened."
Carina Clare, for Ahmed, said it was "clear there were those involved who were violent and had what appeared to be a lethal weapon".
She said Ahmed came to the UK alone at the age of five and ended up in the care of a London council.
"She is simply one of those people who have been targeted because of her financial difficulties, unstable home and general vulnerability," she added.
Judge Maureen Bacon spared Ahmed jail.
"You were brought to Norwich by those who were really in charge of the operation and had you in the grip of fear," she said.
"As a 19-year-old you were adrift. You would have been easy prey for those who truly have an interest in the supply of drugs.
"Your role was as the patsy."
Ahmed, of Pilton Place in London, was given two years in prison suspended for 22 months. She was also ordere to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and 35 rehabilitation days.