Pensioner sold heroin and crack cocaine on doorstep of his flat next to Leeds high school

Romany James was jailed for seven and a half years for selling Class A drugs from his flat near to Co-op Academy, Burmantofts
Romany James was jailed for seven and a half years for selling Class A drugs from his flat near to Co-op Academy, Burmantofts
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A pensioner who dealt drugs from his flat just yards from a high school has been jailed for more than seven years.

Romany James, 72, supplied heroin and crack cocaine through the grille of the front door of his home on Nippet Lane, Burmantofts.

Jason Emsley was also locked up for his role in supplying drugs from Romany James' flat on Nippet Lane.

Jason Emsley was also locked up for his role in supplying drugs from Romany James' flat on Nippet Lane.

The property is just 100 yards from the Co-Op Academy.

The flat was put under surveillance by West Yorkshire Police when they received a tip-off from the local community.

Specialist officers from Leeds District Serious Organised Crime Unit launched an investigation as part of an operation into the supply of heroin and crack cocaine in the Burmantofts.

On ten dates between August 14 and September 11, they observed a large number of suspected drug users visiting the address.

Drug dealers Romany James and Jason Emsley were caught on camera together at the flat Nippet Lane during West Yorkshire Police operation

Drug dealers Romany James and Jason Emsley were caught on camera together at the flat Nippet Lane during West Yorkshire Police operation

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Drugs were passed through a locked grille on the front door.

Officers witnessed a total of 123 suspected drug purchases.

On four of the dates, users were intercepted after visiting the address and detained in possession of Class A drugs.

Image of Class A drugs seized from Romany James' flat

Image of Class A drugs seized from Romany James' flat

On September 11, officers executed a search warrant at the address and arrested James.

When officers searched the flat they recovered 62 wraps of heroin and 39 rocks of crack cocaine.

The wrapping on the drugs previously recovered from detained users was unique and matched the deals found in the flat.

James was charged with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and pleaded guilty at Leeds Crown Court in October last year.

Through their observations of the address, officers also identified another man, Jason Emsley, 43, as being involved in the drug dealing operation.

He was seen being let into the flat by James and being involved in the exchanges with the users later detained by officers.

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Emsley was arrested from his home in Brown Hill Avenue, Harehills, the day after the raid on James’s flat.

Two sets of precision scales with traces of white powder on them were recovered from the Emsley’s address along with a letter in the name of Romany James.

He was later charged with conspiracy the supply Class A drugs.

James was sentenced to seven years and six months imprisonment and Emsley was jailed for three years and four months.

Detective Inspector Phil Jackson, who heads Leeds District Serious Organised Crime Unit, said: “The evidence painstakingly gathered by specialist officers showed the roles these men were each playing in the organised supply of heroin and crack cocaine onto the streets of Leeds.

“James is someone who has been involved in crime for much of his 72 years and clearly sees offending as a way of life.

“We regularly see the harm that Class A drugs cause both to individual users and to our communities where they fuel crime and anti-social behaviour that impacts on ordinary people’s lives.

“We hope the significant prison sentences they have received will serve to reassure the community and send a very clear message to those who think they can get away with profiting from this criminal trade.”