Blog:
Paul Darnborough

The Manchester-based solicitor is preparing to host an event with drug decriminalisation campaigner Neil Woods and Leftfield's Neil Barnes at the Carlton Club, Whalley Range

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Some Lives Don’t Matter

Sam is a young man you would trust and instinctively warm to, someone who can handle himself and has a quiet assurance. Those traits suited the gang who recruited him for county lines work.

So when Sam left HMP Walton he was offered train tickets and heroin to sell in the market town of Macclesfield. Assisted by Thomas, who had made the move a few years earlier, but was back on the gear.

So the plan: pack Sam’s bags and sell the gear across county lines. Trip to the market town of Macc to sell the smack.

All works well for a few months. Our boys don’t realise their street dealing makes them stand out like, well, like street drug dealers. Plus there are few mixed race lads in Macc. It’s a brown town but only in bags.

So. Tom using with his girlfriend. He was one of eight. Mum had enough by the time Tom was two. Dad gave up work to bring up the kids but it was too much. Tom left Liverpool for Bacup, to look after his big sister’s kids. She was working and her partner was sentenced to 20 years for attempted murder. Things were good until he lost his job. Back to the Pool. Back on the gear for Tom. He managed to escape to Macc but kept his contacts and Sam came too.

Tom. Kicked off after a racist insult too much and got a three. Was tapped up in prison. It was all he could do.

Ho hum, so hum drum. Tom and Sam have made nothing. The gear and the cash and the phones are all those up the chain. The cash is accounted for and well. You work for others.

Charged with possession with intent to supply class A drugs. Sam, on license went down for four years. Sam negotiated a plea to allowing premises to be used blah blah. Thirty-five weeks, result.

Tom was sanguine. He’s got a PT certificate. His family have disowned him. But he’s optimistic for a new start. Sam, well, back on the gear.

The judge didn’t look up. Some lives don’t matter.

Leftfield’s Neil Barnes plays following talks from Neil Woods and MP Jeff Smith at the Carlton Club on Friday 23 Nov. For more information visit residentadvisor.net

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