A DRUG addict who allowed dealers to use her flat as a crack den has been jailed.

Nichola Gardner let a drugs gang which was making thousands of pounds per day set up a base for selling heroin and crack cocaine in her home in Fearnhead.

On Thursday, July 4, she was handed a year behind bars at Liverpool Crown Court.

The 47-year-old was arrested when her home on Valiant Close was raided by police in July last year.

Gardner had been allowing drug dealers Graham Daniels and Anthony Bath to use the property for selling drugs, even giving the latter a security fob allowing him access to the building.

Daniels and Bath had been part of a Liverpool-based ‘county lines’ operation making between £1,500 and £2,000 per day selling heroin and crack cocaine on the streets of Warrington.

A police investigation codenamed Operation Bugbear employed covert surveillance of the organised crime group over several weeks between April and July 2018.

This led to the strike on Gardner’s flat, and on the same day as this raid officers executed a search warrant at a 17-year-old boy’s home in Liverpool.

The teen, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was a drug runner who would meet Bath in side streets in order to collect the day’s takings before dropping the money with fellow gang member Gilesie Smith at the racket’s ‘hub’ in the Old Swan area of the city.

And the youth would then supply Bath with more heroin and crack cocaine to be dealt back in Warrington the next day.

Gardner admitted allowing a premises to be used for the supply of class A drugs and was given a 12-month imprisonment – although she is likely to be released from prison in the near future, having served time behind bars on remand since her arrest a year ago.

She was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge.

The teenager admitted conspiring to supply class A drugs, but was spared prison.

He was instead given an 18-month youth rehabilitation order and a 91-day rehabilitation activity requirement, also being told to service a three-month curfew.

Forty-year-old Graham Daniels, of Vulcan Close in Fearnhead, and Liverpool men Anthony Bath and Gilesie Smith – aged 26 and 20 respectively – each admitted two counts of conspiring to supply class A drugs.

They will be sentenced at a later date alongside 22-year-old Michael Murphy – also from Liverpool – who admitted permitting the supply of class A drugs on a premises, possessing criminal property and possession of class B drugs with intent to supply.

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In May this year, a jury failed to reach a verdict on whether 22-year-old Liam Grant, from Liverpool, was guilty of conspiracy to supply class A drugs in relation to the ring.

A retrial is due to take place in December.