Two men who travelled from Liverpool to Blackpool to set up a ‘business’ supplying heroin and crack cocaine in a residential block of flats have been given lengthy jail terms.
One of the pair even held another man prisoner at knifepoint in the Cookson Street flat, with the victim fearing he was going to be killed.
Ahmed Awadh, described as routinely having a knife on him at that time, was said to have declared: “This building belongs to me.”
Awadh, 21, of no fixed address, was given seven years and two months in prison.
He was convicted after a trial of two offences of conspiracy to supply class A drugs, plus one offence of false imprisonment.
He admitted criminal damage and having an offensive weapon - a knife.
His co-defendant, 22-year-old Louis Ojapah, of The Elms, Dingle, Liverpool, had pleaded guilty to the same two drug charges and also having an offensive weapon - a hammer.
He received three years and 10 months in prison.
Preston Crown Court heard that the conspiracy covered a period between August and early September last year.
Heroin and crack cocaine was said to have been sold in Blackpool.
Awadh was said to have exploited others so that the risk would be lessened for the two defendants. Drug users were given free supplies for their co-operation and encouraged to get involved in trafficking.
Orders would be placed by phone and Ojapah went out to deal.
One man who visited a woman at the flat ended up held prisoner there for around an hour. Despite Awadh striking blows towards him, the victim managed to send a text message to a friend asking for help, saying he was being held at knife point.
As a result of his experience, the victim ended up having nightmares and panic attacks.
Awadh was only 20 at the time and he was now facing his first prison sentence. Ojapah had been working off a drug debt, the court was told. He had learned his lesson and was genuinely sorry.
Passing sentence, Judge Micheal Byrne said: “This was street dealing, where cocaine and heroin were supplied.
“There was exploitation of vulnerable drug users.
“I accept the false imprisonment was not a pre-meditated offence. But (the victim) believed he might well have been killed.”