Exeter man William Cornah sold drugs on behalf of a London gang, due to the violent threats he was receiving from them. He was caught when he sold heroin to an undercover police officer in August.
Cornah was ‘aggressively cuckooed’, a term used when drug gangs invade a person’s home, typically a local addict’s, and use it as a base to sell drugs in the area. The tactic is named after a cuckoo bird’s tendency to invade other nests.
Cornah was ‘aggressively cuckooed’
‘Cuckooing’ is a way for drug gangs in large cities to further their drugs operations by spreading to more rural areas where there is less competition from other suppliers.
The gang who Cornah sold drugs on behalf of as are known as the ‘Mitch’ gang. They are one of two London suppliers operating in Exeter. The other is known as ‘Joey’, which operates from Liverpool.
The ‘Mitch’ gang are one of two London suppliers operating in Exeter.
Police in smaller cities such as Exeter have had to crack down on drug activity even more due to the increasing number of these cases. This particular effort which led to Cornah’s arrest was known as Operation Cleft, and has led to the arrest of 15 others in the city.
Cornah has previous convictions for drug supply, and was jailed in 2014 for being in possession of £2,800 worth of heroin. Cornah’s heroin addiction was used to the gang’s advantage, as he would work for them in exchange for drugs.
Cornah was jailed in 2014 for being in possession of £2,800 worth of heroin.
The nature of Cornah’s situation influenced his sentence, as Judge Geoffrey Mercer QC said: “I’m prepared to sentence you on the basis that essentially you are vulnerable and you were threatened with violence”.
Cornah’s 12-month community order includes a drug rehabilitation requirement and 20 days of probation work.