Update: Wed 24 February

Ten men arrested as part of Operation Nemesis have all been charged with one count of conspiracy to supply class A drugs (cocaine).

One has appeared before magistrates this morning (Wed) and been remanded in custody, the other nine have been bailed to appear before magistrates in Cannock on a date to be fixed.

Marc Brookes, aged 40, of Moreton Parade, Newcastle, appeared before magistrates in Newcastle this morning and was remanded in custody to appear back at the court at a later date.

The following nine have all been charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs (cocaine) and will appear at court in due course.

Thomas Chapman, aged 26, of Heaton Terrace, Porthill, Newcastle.

Andrew Szulc, aged 51,of Easdale Place, Newcastle.

Anthony Colton, aged 29, of Chiltern Place, Newcastle.

Samuel Giliker, aged 29, of Moreton Parade, Newcastle.

Andrew Edwards, aged 35, of  Whitchurch Grove, Newcastle.

Andrew Pickerill, aged 32, of Heath Avenue, Newcastle.

Nicholas Hickson, aged 45, formerly of Moorfields, Stafford.

David Birks, aged 43, of Pear Tree Lane, Newcastle.

Robert Farrow, aged 43, from Trevithick Close, Bentilee, Stoke-on-Trent.


Ten men have been arrested in connection with suspected drugs offences as part of Operation Nemesis.

As part of a pre-planned operation by Staffordshire Police and the National Crime Agency the 10 were arrested at various locations this morning, Tuesday, at approximately 7am.

They have been taken into custody where they will be questioned.

The men are aged between 26 and 51 and live in the Newcastle, Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford areas.

Arrests at a number of addresses were followed by searches. Officers have recovered a quantity of powder, suspected to be class A controlled drugs. This will now be subject to a detailed forensic examination.

DI Lesley Fowler, from Staffordshire Police, said: “We are committed to tackling drug crime in the communities we serve.

“Today’s arrests form part of the force’s ongoing Operation Nemesis campaign, which specifically targets those suspected of drug crime.

“Thanks to information received from members of the public we were able to arrest a number of people suspected of being involved in such activity following months of investigative work.

“Operation Nemesis forms part of our daily business and we will continue to act on information received about suspected drug crime.

“If you suspect it, report it.”

Anyone with information on drug crime in their community is urged to report it by calling 101.


UPDATE: Incident in Meir, Stoke-on-Trent

NEWS: A sixth male has been arrested in connection with disorder in Meir, Stoke-on-Trent last night (Sunday).

The 19-year-old was arrested this morning (Mon) in connection with last night’s incident. Five other males remain in custody. They are aged between 12 and 16.

A detailed investigation into last night’s incident is now underway and detectives ae working to piece together exactly what happened and who was involved in the disorder.

As part of the investigation, officers will be taking witness statements; studying CCTV from the locality and making inquiries at a number of premises in the Meir area.

Residents within the area of Meir Road reported seeing two groups of local youths looking to confront each other. Two members of these groups are reported to have sustained minor injuries.

Local neighbourhood officers are already providing an increased visible presence to reassure the local community.

An air weapon recovered last night will now be subject to a detailed forensic examination.

Inspector Phil Eaton, from Stoke South Local Policing Team (LPT), said: “I would like to take this opportunity to reassure the public we are working hard to get to the bottom of this incident.

“Early inquiries have established the individuals caught up in last night’s disorder are believed to be known to each other.

“A detailed investigation is now underway to determine exactly what happened and we want to hear from anyone with information.”

If you can help please call Staffordshire Police on 101, quoting incident 553 of February 14, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.



A woman has pleaded guilty at Leicester Crown Court today (Thurs) to killing her partner in Stoke-on-Trent.

Sophie Lou Butler, aged 20, pleaded guilty to manslaughter just days into a trial.

Sophie Butler
Sophie Butler

She was on trial for the murder of her boyfriend, 33-year-old Norasab Hussain, at their flat in Bromley Court, Hanley, on Saturday 30 May 2015.

The trial was halted when she entered a guilty plea to manslaughter. This was accepted by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Butler will be sentenced at the same court on Monday 15 February.

DCI Dave Giles said: “Today’s plea of guilty to manslaughter is a positive outcome, which fully takes account of Sophie Butler’s actions, in that she unlawfully killed Mr Hussain.”

Following this incident a referral was made to the Independent Police Complaints Commission to review the circumstances around the force’s response to the incident. An independent investigation is ongoing.

Man jailed following fatal road traffic collision, Rugeley

A man has been jailed for four years for causing death by dangerous driving following a collision in Rugeley in December 2014.
James Masters, aged 19 and from the Rugeley area, was sentenced at Stafford Crown Court today (Wednesday).

James Masters
James Masters

He pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving; failing to stop after a road accident and failing to report that accident at an earlier hearing.

In addition to the prison sentence he was disqualified from driving for five years.

At approximately 2.30am on 6 December 2014 two members of the public came across a man on a footpath on Western Springs Road, at its junction with Church Street, and called for help.

The man was sadly pronounced dead at the scene. He was identified as Joseph Hunt, aged 22, from Rugeley.

Joseph Hunt
Joseph Hunt

A statement from Joseph’s family reads: “Words cannot express how much Joe meant to our family. He was so loved by us all. He was hugely popular with hundreds of friends who loved him too. We miss him every day and will always remember him with love and pride.”

DI Dan Ison, senior investigating officer, said: “We welcome today’s sentencing and hope it brings some comfort to Joseph’s family and friends.

“This case should serve as a timely reminder to all motorists to drive carefully and with consideration, otherwise face the consequences.

“We are committed to working with our partners to ensure safety on the county’s roads and reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries.”


Officers are appealing for help to find a teenager missing from Stone.

Johnny Doherty, aged 15, was last seen at around 4pm on Thursday 28 January in the Stone area.


Johnny Doherty
Johnny Doherty

He is described as white, about 5 ft 8 ins tall, of small build with cropped brown hair. He has brown eyes and when last seen was wearing blue jeans, blue Nike trainers, blue polo shirt and a dark parka type coat with a fur trimmed hood.

He is believed to have links with the Wolverhampton, Leicestershire and Greater Manchester areas.

Police are becoming increasingly concerned for Johnny’s welfare and urge anyone who has seen him, or knows of his whereabouts, to get in touch immediately.

Anyone who has any information is asked to ring 101 quoting incident 858 of 28 January.

Appeal for witnesses: Road traffic collision, Fenton, S-o-T

Police are appealing for witnesses following a fatal road traffic collision in Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent.
The collision occurred at approximately 5.55pm on Saturday 6 February on the service road to Aldi and McDonald’s on Victoria Road, Fenton, and involved a silver Ford Ka and a 51-year-old male pedestrian from the local area.

The pedestrian sustained serious injuries and was taken to the Royal Stoke University Hospital. Despite the efforts of medical staff the man sadly died late on Saturday night.

He has been named as Gyorgy Bator, a Hungarian national, who had been staying in the Stoke-on-Trent area. Specially trained officers are supporting Mr Bator’s family at this difficult time.

Officers are wanting to speak to anyone who saw the silver Ka (59 plate) or Mr Bator prior to the collision, and an investigation to establish the exact circumstances of what happened is now underway.

PC Carl Matthews, investigating officer, said: “It was a busy Saturday evening and there would have been people using Aldi, McDonald’s and Gala Bingo who could well have seen this incident or the events beforehand.

“I would ask anyone with information to contact me on 101, quoting incident 623 of February 6.”

Three arrested, Cobridge, Stoke-on-Trent

NEWS: Three men are currently in custody after being arrested at an address in Cobridge, Stoke-on-Trent, this morning (Fri).

As part of a pre-planned operation both armed and unarmed officers were deployed to the address on Windermere Street.

At approximately 6am three men at the property, aged 22, 28 and 33, were arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm.

They have been taken into custody for questioning.

A detailed search of the property is now underway.

As a result of the increased police activity in the area local neighbourhood officers are on patrol to offer support and reassurance to the local community.


A man has been handed a hospital order under section 37 of the Mental Health Act after a police officer was seriously injured in the line of duty.

A jury found Matthew Tearle, aged 35, did cause grievous bodily harm to former police sergeant Jon King and was in possession of a prohibited weapon (a paintball gun) following a trial of facts at Stafford Crown Court.
Tearle had been declared unfit for trial after an assessment of his mental health.

The jury heard the incident occurred at an address on Wat Tyler Close, Rugeley, on Sunday 19 October, 2014, where Tearle discharged a paintball gun.

As a result of this Jon King, a Sergeant at Cannock Chase District Local Policing Team (LPT), received an eye injury which resulted in the loss of his right eye. He has since retired from the force on medical grounds.

ACC Nick Adderley, from Staffordshire Police, said: “We acknowledge today’s outcome.

“Every day our officers face danger as part of their role to protect the people of Staffordshire.

“Sadly on this occasion the actions of Matthew Tearle had devastating consequences for Jon, which not only affected him, but his whole family.

“As a result of the serious injury sustained Jon was forced to retire on medical grounds from his role as a hardworking and dedicated Police Sergeant. He was an excellent officer and is already much missed by all his colleagues.

“Although this was an isolated incident it is a prudent reminder that policing carries an element of risk, and officers regularly face dangerous situations. But their priority remains the same – protecting the people of Staffordshire.

“This was a distressing incident but Jon did what the public would expect without hesitation. His actions at the time are to be commended.”

Following the trial of facts Tearle was handed the hospital order under section 37 of the Mental Health Act, with a section 41 restriction order.

At today’s hearing Judge Eades announced that High Sheriff of Staffordshire awards will be awarded to Jon King; Inspector Kevin Mulligan; PC Steven Davenport and Special Constable Sydney Cooper in recognition of their efforts to help Mr Tearle.

Mr Tearle’s mother and brother will also be awarded the same honour.

Jason Corden-Bowen, Senior Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said:

“Paint-ball competitions are a popular and widely pursued recreational activity and paint-ball products are legitimately available for purchase. Ordinarily paint-ball guns are classified as air weapons and are exempt from legislative restrictions. However, where an air weapon is sufficiently powerful it ceases to be free from that exemption and is categorised as specially dangerous. If an air weapon is specially dangerous it is considered to be a firearm in law.

“In this case, although the air weapon that Matthew Tearle used was purchased lawfully, after it was discharged at very close range into a police officer’s face, it was tested by experts and found to be powerful enough to be classified as a ‘specially dangerous air weapon.’ As a direct result of that power it was not exempt and fell into the ordinary firearms legislation.

“The dimensions of the air weapon concerned were also such that it constituted a prohibited weapon and attracts a minimum sentence under the Firearms Act.”

NEWS: Incident at Porthill, Newcastle


Four men are currently in custody after being arrested last night, Thursday.

The four were arrested in a vehicle on the slip-road off the A500 at the Porthill roundabout, at approximately 9pm.

They are aged 32, 32, 35 and 38 and all from the local area. They were all arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to rob.

The vehicle the men were travelling in was recovered for a detailed forensic examination.

The slip road was closed off to motorists whilst police were in attendance. We would like to thank people for their patience and understanding whilst this incident was ongoing.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Staffordshire Police on 101 quoting incident 740 of January 28, or the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at


No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court.