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Drug dealer attempted to hide drugs up bum when police knocked at door

A teenage boy used to peddle drugs for the gang was found to be a victim of ‘modern slavery’

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Merseyside Police

A heroin and crack cocaine dealer attempted to hide drugs by stuffing them up his bum when police came knocking at his door.

Joshua Williams, 23, was found to be working in two county lines drug rings, one of which used a teenage boy to peddle the illegal substances for them, in a case of ‘modern slavery’.

Meanwhile, Emma Philbin, 40, operated the ‘graft phone’ on the line – which was known as ‘Sully’ – where she boasted the goods on offer were the ‘best in town’ and ‘fuel to make NASA jealous’.

On Tuesday September 19th, as reported by the Liverpool Echo, Liverpool Crown Court heard that Mr Williams was a key part of two Liverpool-based operations, trading in the area of Widnes.

Merseyside Police

Prosecutor Robert Dudley told the court this involved taking over the homes of ‘vulnerable’ occupants using a practice known as ‘cuckooing’.

The Sully line, a gang which used the practice, saw class A drugs dealt from Ms Philbin’s – then home – located on Frederick Street in the Cheshire town, during the summer of 2021. 

A Samsung mobile phone which was recovered from a bed during a search of the house, on August 5th 2021, was found to contain several flare text messages which were sent out between the months of May and August, in order to advertise their wares for sale.

Example texts included ‘get your bits out for the lads’, ‘best of both str8 tens’ and ‘still around with the best in town’. 

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Another text stored on the device read: “U stil on em im just leaving alton towers no ile be home for half 9 can I con and see u then.”

A Kinder Surprise egg was also found in a bedroom drawer at the address which contained three wraps of heroin and one of crack cocaine.

While under interview, Ms Philbin told detectives: “It’s all my fault. It’s all my flat. It’s all my doing, no one else’s.”

“A lad comes down, he normally sits there with me but he went home last night. He said he’d come back today to pick up more stuff,” she continued to explain.

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Ms Philbin, now of Halton Lodge Avenue, in Runcorn, added she ‘didn’t know his name but he was a Scouser aged about 21 or 22’. 

She also claimed to have been responsible for sending the text messages out, and was described as being ‘particularly proud’ of one which read: “We’ve got fuel to make NASA jealous.”

Ms Philbin would ‘pass the wraps’ and ‘give the money to the lads’, for which she would be ‘paid in bits’. 

Police raided Mr Williams’ then home on Dewsbury Road, in Anfield, the same morning.

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After a forced entry into the property, officers found him ‘crouching on the floor in the second bedroom, looking as though he was attempting both to conceal himself and seeking to conceal items into his anus’ as he was ‘messing with his boxer shorts’.

Officers took him to the kitchen while noticing his speech was ‘muffled’.

Mr Williams was ordered to open his mouth, revealing a ‘ball-shaped item’ which contained a further 38 wraps of heroin. More drugs were also found stashed in the same room.

He was later released under investigation but he was arrested again on April 21st 2023 alongside a 17-year-old boy from Liverpool, at another house in Lugsdale, Widnes.

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Police officer’s suspicions were aroused after two men were spotted knocking on a window at the property.

A Nokia ‘graft phone’ was ringing on the table while the boy was found to be hiding 72 wraps of crack cocaine in his underwear.

Officers in attendance witnessed a ‘gaunt’ looking drug user also approach the same window before ‘making off’ after seeing them. The premises had been subject to a closure order at the time.

The teenager was found to be a subject of ‘modern slavery’ and was not charged with any criminal offences in relation to the incident.

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In court, Mr Williams –represented by Matthew O’Neill – was described as a dad to a young child and as having previous convictions including a count of robbery as a youth in 2016.

Ms Philbin has a total of 40 convictions for 50 offences, and had been given an eight-week imprisonment suspended for 18 months for shoplifting in March 2021.

Appearing on her behalf, Jeremy Rawson outlined how his client had been ‘ravaged’ by drug use and working to ‘fund her own habit and pay off debts’. 

She was said to have since made efforts to overcome her addiction and volunteered with other ‘vulnerable’ members of society in similar situations.

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Mr Williams, now of Oxton Street in Walton, admitted conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine, being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine, possession of heroin with intent to supply and possession of cannabis.

Appearing via video link to HMP Liverpool, he was sentenced to seven years and four months in prison.

Ms Philbin pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine and was handed a 24-month imprisonment suspended for two years, as well as a drug rehabilitation requirement and a rehabilitation activity requirement, of up to 27 days.

During sentencing, Recorder Ian Harris described Mr Williams as the ‘prime operator’ and Ms Philbin as a ‘weak or inadequate person predicated upon to allow her home to be used for a drug supply business’.

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“The supply of class A drugs is corrosive. It can ruin individuals and communities,” he added.

To Ms Philbin, he said: “Unlike your co-defendant, you have used your time wisely. You have taken steps to improve yourself and rid yourself of that insidious drug addiction.

“In time, you would have destroyed yourself. You were used by those who were more sophisticated in drug supply.

“You are, in my judgement, a completely different individual now. I am able to suspend the sentence, just, to mark the astonishing progress you have made and to assist you in your attempts at rehabilitation.”


Stagecoach hiring over 100 new bus drivers for Bee Network with £31k salaries

Fancy a career change?

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Stagecoach Manchester is hiring over 100 new bus drivers to work from its Oldham depot, following the second phase of the Bee Network launch in March.

You can apply for a range of roles, from positions with no experience required to fully qualified bus drivers.

Successful applicants will receive full training as part of the job, and trainees will get paid to train. Then after only 12 months’ service at Stagecoach, drivers can expect to earn up to £16 per hour, which equates to £31.6K per year, before overtime.

As well as that, drivers that already hold a PCV licence may be eligible to receive a £1,200 joining bonus.


There’s also a host of other benefits available to all Stagecoach employees, like 28 days paid holiday, generous pension and free Stagecoach bus travel for successful applicants and a companion.

Rob Jones, Managing Director at Stagecoach Manchester said: “Expanding our offering in Oldham means we’ll be investing more in the economy and supporting our local community, as well as strengthening our workforce.

“Whether you’re looking for a career change or you’re a fully qualified, experienced bus driver, there’s a role for everyone here in Oldham.

“We’re looking for personable and dedicated drivers who are ready to help us build on the success of the Bee Network and connect the people of Oldham and Greater Manchester with the places and people that are important to them.”


Phil Cornwall, bus driver at Stagecoach Manchester, said: “I’ve been a driver at Stagecoach for 25 years and I couldn’t recommend it more.

“From the perks to the people to the passengers, it really is a great place to work.”

To apply, head to the Stagecoach website HERE.

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Two men charged with murder after torso discovered in Salford nature reserve


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Greater Manchester Police

Two men have now been charged with murder, following the discovery of a human torso in Kersal Dale.

As well as that, more suspected human remains were also discovered this morning, Monday April 29th, in an alleyway close to the railway lines off Worsley Road, Eccles.

This follows earlier discoveries of human remains over the past three weeks, at Kersal Dale, Blackleach Reservoir and Colliery Wood, all in Salford.

Greater Manchester Police

Michal Jaroslaw Polchowski (25/04/1956) and Marcin Majerkiewicz (10/04/1982) both of Worsley Road, Eccles, have been charged with murder.

They are set to appear at Tameside Magistrates Court this afternoon.

While formal identification is still ongoing, the remains found at Kersal Dale are believed to be of a local man in his 60s. The remains found at the other three locations are still to be tested, but police are confident they belong to the same victim.

ACC Sarah Jackson said: “We have had large numbers of officers, staff and specialists working diligently on this investigation over the last three weeks. It has been very much a large, collective effort, with the victim and family at the heart of it from the outset.

“We have specially trained officers deployed to support the family as they come to terms with this tragic news. They are aware of this morning’s further discovery and will continue to be kept up to date with how we are progressing.

“Despite the charges brought today, our work is far from over.

“The scenes we already have established in Bury and Salford will remain in place for much of this week whilst our searches and enquiries continue. Local officers will continue to patrol the impacted areas to provide reassurance.

“We will continue following every line of enquiry to recover and reunite the victim with his family, bringing a dignified end to this terrible scenario.

“I’d like to thank the communities of Salford and beyond for their cooperation throughout this investigation. I know this incident has come as a shock, and the support we’ve had from those in the area is very much appreciated.”

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More human remains discovered in Greater Manchester as police identify victim

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N Chadwick / Geograph

Detectives investigating the discovery of a torso in Kersal Dale have found more human remains around Greater Manchester.

GMP released a statement on the weekend, revealing they had opened four scenes for extensive searches – one of them at a warehouse in Bury, and three in Salford.

Searches took place at Blackleach reservoir, where human remains were found, and a dog walker found a package containing human remains at Colliery Wood.

Officers believe they have now identified the man, who they believe to be a man in his 60s that lived in Salford, and his family have been informed.

Two suspects have already been arrested in connection with the murder probe, with officers saying they are thought to have lived with the victim.

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Detective Superintendent Lewis Hughes, Senior Investigating Officer for this investigation, said in a statement at Blackleach reservoir yesterday, Sunday April 28th: “We have continued to make significant progress in our investigation into human remains being found in Kersal earlier this month.

“From day one, our priority has been to identify the man and his family so that we can give them the support and the answers that they need.

“Thanks to meticulous forensic work, we are now confident we have identified the man. Formal identification hasn’t yet taken place, but we believe he is a man in his 60s and lived in Salford.

“Specially-trained family liaison officers have met with his family this afternoon to give them the devastating news, and we will do all that we can to support them at this awful time.

“We believe he is known to the two suspects we have in custody. They have remained in custody for questioning over the weekend, as we work to establish how the victim met this tragic outcome.”

He continued: “We have painstakingly worked to follow up every line of inquiry in this investigation. Over the last couple of days, we have acted on information and had four scenes in place for extensive searches – one of them is at a warehouse in Bury, and three of them are in Salford, including here at Blackleach reservoir.

“Today, we have found some human remains at the reservoir here, and last night a dog walker found a package containing human remains at Colliery Wood. Forensic tests will continue to establish whose remains these are, but we are very confident that this is also the victim in our investigation.

“We have also been searching a house in Winton where we believe the victim and the two suspects lived. We have found evidence that the victim is likely to have died there – most likely in late March.

“While this is significant progress, we know there is still some way to go to complete this investigation. I also recognise details of this case will have been distressing for the people of Salford and beyond – including the officers that are diligently working on this investigation, and most importantly the man’s heartbroken family.

“Local officers will continue to patrol the affected areas, and we will provide updates when we have more information.”

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