A DRUGS gang who murdered then chopped up a man came to Halifax to buy their drugs.
The killers – who were found guilty this week – were lured to Calderdale to buy their evil supplies because Halifax, just off the M62, makes it convenient for drug dealers across the north. And users says drugs in Calderdale are better and cheaper than in the major cities of Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham.
The murder victim was Adam Vincent, 33, who suffered blows to the head with an axe or golf club.
The trial heard he was killed in revenge because the gang thought he had stolen drugs and money.
The prosecution said the gang could have had Mr Vincent’s body in a van when they came to Halifax to buy heroin.
Mr Vincent’s corpse was cut into six pieces – the head, two arms, two legs and the torso.
Police underwater search teams came to Brighouse looking for his body parts, trawling the River Calder and the Calder and Hebble Navigation.
His left leg was found, half-covered in a black bin liner, at Tetney Lock in Lincolnshire on March 3.
The naked torso was found upstream on the Louth Navigation the next day. It was immersed in water and half-covered in a black bin liner.
The left arm was discovered in a culvert, covered with three black bin liners, near Tetney Lock Road on March 6.
On June 15, a passer-by alerted the police after seeing a foot sticking out of a bag in the River Ancholme, opposite Brigg Leisure Centre. The right leg was found.
A search of the Ancholme revealed the right arm in a black bin liner on June 19. Mr Vincent’s head was found in the river on June 20.
At Sheffield Crown Court, Lee Griffiths, 43, of Southfield Road, Scartho, Grimsby, and his sons Luke, 19, and Thomas, 22, of the same address were all found guilty of Mr Vincent’s murder, along with his stepson Mark Jackson, 28, of Wickenby Close, Grimsby.
Matthew Frow, 32, of a different address in Southfield Road, was found not guilty of murder, but convicted of causing grievous bodily harm.
As the verdict was delivered at Sheffield Crown Court, he smiled at the jury and mouthed “thank you”.
All five were also found guilty of perverting the course of justice.
Lee and Thomas Griffiths were also found guilty of conspiracy to supply class A drugs. Frow had admitted the same charge
Jackson was cleared of conspiracy to supply heroin.
Meanwhile Andrew Lusher, 43, of Welholme Road, Grimsby, who only faced a charge of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, was acquitted.
Jurors were unable to reach a verdict in regard to the conspiracy to supply a Class A Drug charge faced by Luke Griffiths.
They will be sentenced today.
The gang are believed to be just one of several who have travelled to Halifax and the Calder Valley for their illegal supplies.
A former dealer revealed to the Courier: “You get more for your money here. And if you think of where it is, it’s handy and it’s direct.”
“It’s like a Mecca for dealers.”
He said Hebden Bridge in particular, despite being a picturesque tourist town, hada reputation across the whole globe for being a source for illegal substances.
“I’ve been abroad, even to Mexico, and everyone has heard of Hebden Bridge. It’s well known for it,” he said.
“I’d say there are more drugs per square mile in Hebden Bridge than in Manchester.”
The number of people from Hebden Bridge who have died from drugs led to film-maker Jez Lewis, who grew up in the town, creating a documentary.
It highlighted the shocking extent of addiction to drink and drugs in the town, with Jez discovering people as young as 10 were getting hold of drugs – by asking a 12-year-old, who will ask a 14-year-old, who will ask a 16-year-old, to buy them.