Girl aged three 'was used to sell heroin'

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The Independent Online

A family that ran a drug dealing ring used a girl aged three to sell narcotics, detectives said yesterday. Officers investigating the sale of cannabis and heroin in Middlesbrough found the child helping to sell drugs through the barred windows of a house.

A family that ran a drug dealing ring used a girl aged three to sell narcotics, detectives said yesterday. Officers investigating the sale of cannabis and heroin in Middlesbrough found the child helping to sell drugs through the barred windows of a house.

Six members of the family admitted their part in the selling racket when they appeared at Teesside Crown Court to face a total of 31 charges.

Drug squad officers who made the arrests described after the hearing how undercover police found the child when they visited the fortified house used by the ring.

Detective Sergeant Charlie Bell, the head of Cleveland Police's drugs squad, said: "There were grilles on the front and back door. When people went to buy drugs, the grilles were locked and they were given the drugs through them.

"When the officers got to the house they were met by the little girl. They told her what they wanted and she took their money. She toddled off and came back with the drugs. The child was directly involved in the selling process.

"She must be the youngest person in the country ever discovered to be involved in the selling of drugs."

Donna Marie Horrigan, 24, her parents, Gerrard, 45, and Christine, her brother, Darren, 21, and her boyfriend, Craig Woodier, 22, pleaded guilty to various drug offences.

The case was adjourned for pre-sentence reports.

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