Cycle of fear for innocent neighbours ends as criminal gang is jailed

St Helens Star: The ringleader: Eugene Price has been jailed for 25 years The ringleader: Eugene Price has been jailed for 25 years

FOR months innocent neighbours lived in fear as a crime gang’s drug supply turf war saw windows blasted out with shotguns and cars firebombed.

Now though, the lawless thugs that police say terrorised communities in Parr and Sutton with the aim of controlling the supply of Class A drugs have been brought to justice at Liverpool Crown Court.

The ringleader Eugene Price – a traveller who was the mastermind behind the drug supply operation and a man who would order violence to protect his patch – received 25 years in prison, the heaviest punishment given to those sentenced in the past week.

Price – who, the court heard, once bragged that he was untouchable – was convicted of conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life, conspiracy to commit arson and conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

Two of his lieutenants, Christopher Lunt and David Doolan, were sentenced to 21 and 18 years respectively.

Six others involved in the drugs supply chain have also been jailed, with sentences for the nine of them totalling more than 100 years.

Among the details heard at court were:

  • How a drugs operation led from a house on Newton Road, Parr brought in £1million over one year.
  • A gunshot pierced caravan window on Leonard Street, showering a sleeping five-year-old boy in glass.
  • An arsonist recruited to firebomb vehicles carried out a bungled attack on Leonard Street which saw his Russian style hat burst into flames as he torched cars.
  • That crime across St Helens has dropped significantly since their arrests last year.

Judge Denis Watson said: “The origins of the dispute are unclear but date back several years. What is clear is that there have been several episodes of violence since 2010.

“An element of the turf war was as to who was controlling the drugs trade resulting in a continuing vendetta against the Maughans (a St Helens traveller family).”

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