Shropshire Star

Rapists, drug dealers and an Easter egg thief: Shropshire criminals jailed so far this year

From thieves to rapists and manic motorists to drug dealers, dozens of people have been locked away for their crimes in Shropshire over the last three months.

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With prisons full to bursting, it can sometimes feel like 'avoids jail' is in the headlines more often than 'locked up'.

But dozens of criminals have been sent to serve time behind bars since the year got underway.

Here are some of those cases the Shropshire Star has reported since the beginning of 2024.


Cannabis 'gardener' busted with 221 plants in Telford drugs factory

An illegal immigrant who was caught operating as a "gardener" at a drugs factory worth tens of thousands of pounds for the second time in two years was jailed for two years

Klodian Haskja, aged 32, was busted in Telford by police looking after a cannabis farm with 221 plants in October last year - just months after he had been released from prison for a similar offence committed in Leeds.

Haskja, who entered the UK illegally, was said to be looking after the grow to pay off debts to the people who helped smuggle him into the country.

The judge handed Haskja a jail sentence of two years. It was expected Haskja would serve half the time in custody before being released on licence, although he may be deported by the Home Office.

Ellesmere man, 38, jailed after being found guilty of serious sexual assault

Adam Williams, aged 38, of Beech Grove, was sentenced at Shrewsbury Crown Court, after he was found guilty at trial of one charge of assault by penetration.

Judge Anthony Lowe sentenced Williams to three years and three months in prison.

Williams will also be subject to notification requirements for life, meaning he must inform his local police station of his address within three days of leaving prison, and if moving house.

'Maniac' motorist jailed for dangerous driving before fatal crash with Shrewsbury motorcyclist

A “maniac” motorist was cleared by a jury of causing the death of a motorcyclist, but was jailed for what a judge described as a “bad case of dangerous driving.”

Judge Rhys Rowlands said had David Pugh been held responsible for the death of 46-year-old Stephen Elsdon, from Shrewsbury, his one-year prison sentence would have been in "double figures".

The 32-year-old was locked up for a year after being convicted of dangerous driving and admitting drug driving with the metabolite of cocaine, and having no insurance.

The cannabis gardener found in charge of 200 plants spread across five rooms in Telford

Shrewsbury Crown Court heard how 29-year-old Aurel Ibrahimi had ended up in charge of the drugs at a house on Crescent Road, in Hadley, after he got chatting to people speaking his native Albanian in a coffee shop last year.

Officers found Ibrahimi on the ground floor of the house as well as plants of various ages and growing equipment.

The judge imposed a prison sentence of 14 months, which will have the two months the 29-year-old has spent in custody deducted from it.

He said that after half of that sentence, prisoners are then released to serve the rest of their sentence in the community, but warned that in Ibrahimi's circumstances he will probably "not be released but detained pending a decision of deportation".

Ludlow thief handled stolen antiques and took aftershave and gin worth more than £300

Luke Fenn, from Ludlow, stole £250 worth of aftershave from Leominster Pharmacy on September 8 last year, and £90 of gin from Aldi in Ludlow three days later.

He was also caught handling stolen antiques in Leominster on September 6 last year. Fenn, who is from Ludlow but of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty at Hereford Magistrates Court to two counts of theft and one count of handling stolen goods.

He was jailed for 18 weeks.

Telford drug addict who stole pyjamas jailed for 12 weeks

Samantha Baxter, aged 47, from Donnington, stole from several shops in Telford and Wrekin to feed her habit, including stealing more than £200 worth of items from B&M Bargains in Newport and a set of pyjamas from Home Bargains in Donnington.

John McMillan, mitigating, told magistrates that Baxter's life had been "blighted by drugs", but more recently she had got her addiction more under control. She was jailed for 12 weeks.

Man who threatened to smash ex's face and broke her brother's window over failed relationship

Lee King, aged 38, of Dolyfelin, Welshpool, turned up drunk at a school and threatened to "kick off" if his ex did not get back with him, and went as far as smashing a window of her brother's house in Telford.

Shrewsbury Crown Court heard how King had been under a two-year restraining order set in March 2022 that prevented him from making any kind of contact with the woman.

King had breached the restraining order in October 2022, as well as in July and August last year, the court heard. He was jailed for 12 months.

Telford paedophile jailed for 15 years for rape and other serious sexual offences

Aaron Kendall, 32, of Furlong Green in Lightmoor, Telford, was jailed for 15 years after pleading guilty to 15 charges of serious sexual offences – including four counts of rape of a girl under 13.

West Mercia Police said Kendall was arrested around 20 minutes after the victim reported the crimes.

Detective Constable Izzy Broxton welcomed the sentence for the "harrowing and shocking" case, but said "no sentence can ever provide justice for the survivor or their family".

Kendall was also made subject of a 20-year sexual harm prevention order, a 20-year restraining order against the victim and he will be added to the sex offenders' register until further notice.

Shrewsbury sex offender who failed to tell risk manager about new relationship

Ronan Hutchinson was jailed for three weeks after failing to comply with the terms of his sexual harm prevention order.

Hutchinson, aged 23, stayed at an address in Shrewsbury not approved by his officer on January 22 and failed to tell his manager about a relationship he entered into.

Prolific Ludlow shoplifter is locked up for third time in five months after latest thefts

A prolific Ludlow shoplifter was returned to jail for six months for twice breaching a criminal behaviour order (CBO) and two counts of shoplifting.

Anthony Shingler, of no fixed abode, was given the CBO on September 28 last year with conditions not to enter a number of shops in Ludlow following previous shoplifting sprees in the town.

He had previously been locked up for eight weeks in September for targetting the One Stop in Ludlow five times, and was handed the two-year CBO after pleading guilty to those offences. His hauls included Budweiser, laundry products, food and household items.

The following month he was jailed for six months after he stole three times from Sainsbury's and once from Spar in Ludlow within days of his release from his eight-week sentence, stealing chicken breasts and other meat.

The court was told that Shingler entered the One Stop store in Gavel Hill on January 26 and stole cakes and biscuits to the value of £100.

He then went into the Sainsbury's store in Dun Cow Road on January 27 and stole premium meats to the value of £100-£150.

Man locked up for part in attack on professional footballer which 'destroyed his career'

Kane Skitt, 19, pleaded guilty to two offences when he appeared at Shrewsbury Crown Court – sitting at Telford Justice Centre.

Kevin Jones, prosecuting, told how the offences related to an incident in Newport where Ben Marshall, a former professional footballer, was attacked in the early hours of August 28, 2022.

Skitt, of Oakengates Road in Donnington, admitted one count of section 20 assault and another of affray.

Skitt was sentenced to 24 months in a young offenders institute.

'Zombie knives' man sent to jail after breaching conditions of suspended sentence

Robin John Young, aged 49, of Sandpits Close in Ludlow, was convicted in June of the possession of six zombie knives, two push daggers, a butterfly knife, and three flick knives.

Kidderminster Magistrates' Court had handed down a 24-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months.

But Young failed to comply with a court order telling him to meet with the probation service on two occassions. He admitted the breaches on January 15 when he appeared at Kidderminster Magistrates Court.

He was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison.


Brave victims see Telford rapist jailed for 12 years after he went on the run in Europe

A brutal rapist who wrecked the lives of his two female victims was jailed for 12 years after going on the run in Europe to escape justice.

Arthur Okyere, 37, from Telford, offered two female friends a lift home from the Arcadian entertainment venue in Birmingham, in November, 2015, but then drove to a deserted industrial estate and subjected them to a sickening sexual attack.

Okyere, of Ash Lea Drive, Donnington, Telford, had previously been convicted of voyeurism after repeatedly spying on a woman in a gym shower and for viciously attacking the mother of his children.

Shot drug dealer who moved to Shropshire caught selling to users before police chase

A dealer who moved to Shropshire to 'escape the criminal life' after being shot in the neck led police on a high-speed chase after being caught selling drugs.

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