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West Green, Crawley man jailed for drug and driving offences

A West Green man has been jailed for five years for drug and driving offences.

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Vikesh Patel, 28, of Town Mead, Crawley, was found guilty of eight separate offences including driving while being disqualified, possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply and possession of an offensive weapon.

Patel was spotted by plain clothes officers driving a car near Peglar Way, Crawley, on 22 October despite having a driving ban. Officers followed the vehicle until it stopped in Town Barn Road and Patel was arrested when he exited the vehicle.

Officers conducted a person search and inside a bag Patel was carrying were four packages of cocaine, a small bag of cannabis, three burner-style phones and a metal bat was also discovered in the vehicle.

Patel was arrested and charged for five offences and remanded in custody. During a police interview when questioned about his possession, Patel claimed he had left his bag at a friend’s house.

The mechanic stood trial on November 21 for the charges of possession with intent to supply a class A drug, possession of a class B drug, possession of an offensive weapon, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.

He also stood trial for the charges of possession of a Class A drug, possession of a Class B drug with intent to supply and possession of criminal property in relation to a previous incident.

Patel was found guilty and given a total of five years in prison.

Detective Constable Simon Goulding said:

“Patel showed complete disregard for his driving ban and he thought we wouldn’t find out he was back behind the wheel. On top of this, Patel was using a vehicle to enable him to sell drugs in the community.

“This behaviour is completely unacceptable and we are dedicated to tackling this behaviour and stamping it out in our communities.

“We welcome the sentence Patel has been given by the courts and hope this provides a stark warning to anyone else involved in drugs that you will be caught.”

A 28-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of cocaine and possession of an offensive weapon. He has been released under investigation.

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West Sussex raises alert level as more coronavirus cases are confirmed

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The current alert level in West Sussex has been escalated to “yellow” (raised local alertness) which means there is an increasing number of confirmed cases of coronavirus. This is in line with the increase in cases being seen nationally. There were 116 confirmed cases in West Sussex in the last seven days.

The County Council has introduced a traffic light system (green, yellow, amber and red) to keep residents informed about the current rate of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the county.

With the rise in cases, residents are being asked to take preventative action to stop the spread of the virus.

This includes following the “Rule of Six” which means you should not meet in groups of more than six people from outside your household both indoors and outdoors.

Residents should continue to wash hands regularly, practise social distancing, wear a face mask when appropriate and get tested when they have symptoms.

Amanda Jupp, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, said:

“So far in West Sussex we have seen a relatively low number of cases of coronavirus. However in line with national trends there has been an increase in recent weeks of the number of people who have tested positive.

“It is important we do all we can to keep numbers as low as possible. In line with government guidance, please do not meet in groups of more than six people. It is also important to continue to wash your hands regularly, keep socially distanced, wear a face mask where appropriate and get tested when you have symptoms.

“I am very grateful to all residents for their continued efforts to ensure the county remains safe. We have done so well to control the spread of COVID-19 in the county up until now and we are keen to keep it that way to ensure we can #KeepWestSussexSafe.”

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