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Drug den Zimbabwe asylum pair jailed

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Two Zimbabwean asylum seekers have been jailed for a total of seven years and recommended for deportation after setting up a drug dealing den at a cottage in Telford.

Quincy Mutema, 26, of Crescent Road, Hadley, and Amon Mambinge, 24, of Birmingham, were sentenced to four years and three years in jail respectively after admitting being concerned with the supply of heroin and crack cocaine.

Both were made subject of automatic deportation recommendations.

Shrewsbury Crown Court today heard the men had moved into a row of cottages in Leegomery where their neighbours were a pensioner and a middle-aged woman.

Mr Denis Desmond, prosecuting, said: “They have given statements of how their lives were disrupted by the occupation of the cottage next door by these defendants.

“Drug users regularly climbed through their gardens to get to the cottage, looked in their windows, and were coming and going throughout the day and night.

“The police became involved and they set up a surveillance operation which involved installing CCTV and surveillance equipment.

“On separate days between August 19 and September 25 they monitored the premises and recorded known drug users visiting the property.”

The court heard that on September 25, after five visits from people to the property, the police executed a search warrant and nearly £3,500 worth of heroin and crack cocaine was found.

Mambinge and Mutema, who had both been caught on surveillance cameras, were arrested. Mr Jonathan Edwards, for Mutema, said: “He has expressed regret.”

The court was told Mambinge began working when he arrived in the UK in 2002, but he was stopped from doing so as he was an asylum seeker.

Judge Robin Onions said: “You found it difficult to survive on the money that is available, the court has sympathy for somebody in that situation but the court does not have sympathy for people who solve that by selling drugs.”

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