POLICE in Chester have had their say after a campaigner for the city's homeless was jailed for dealing spice to to them.

Wayne Lammond, 35, himself of no fixed abode, was sentenced to 18 months in prison last Friday (April 3) at Chester Crown Court by Honorary Recorder of Chester Judge Steven Everett.

He had pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply £1,300 of spice after he was caught with the drug off Clifton Drive, Blacon, in September last year.

Judge Everett said he had "no doubt" had been supplying the class B drug to "at least some" vulnerable people at the Hamilton House homeless hub in Chester city centre for "financial gain".

He added: "I tell you now; despite the very eloquent submissions made on your behalf, you are something of a hypocrite in that regard and you need to take a long, hard look at your approach."

As well as the jail term, Lammond was banned from entering Chester city centre for three years as part of a criminal behaviour order (CBO).

Police officers in Chester have now had their say following the sentencing.

Lammond had been well known to officers in Chester city centre, particularly after a 20-strong section of the homeless community began a squat at Hamilton House and a succession of other empty city centre buildings from October 2019.

Sergeant Alex Jackson, of Chester Local Policing Unit (LPU), said: “On top of being a drug dealer who has now been convicted of four separate drug dealing offences, Wayne Lammond has blighted the Chester community with anti-social behaviour.

“This includes abusive and aggressive behaviour, such as shouting in public places and blocking shop doorways.

“Lammond also self-defined himself as the spokesperson of several squats within Chester over a four-month period, including the much publicised squat at Hamilton House in the city centre at the beginning of October.

“These squats were frequented by known criminals as well as drug users.

“The squats created a magnet for people with vulnerabilities which others could exploit.

“When sentencing Lammond, the judge labelled the drug dealer a ‘hypocrite’ in regards to his campaigning for help for homeless people with drug addictions.

“Working alongside partner agencies, our Partnership Problem Solving Team have tried to offer interventions to prevent and deter Lammond from continuing to act in a criminal and anti-social manner.

“With all other avenues having failed in this regard, we applied for a Criminal Behaviour Order.”

Police say CBOs are preventative orders which are designed to stop persistent offenders committing further anti-social behaviour and criminal offences. They are only ever applied for and imposed as a last resort.

Breaching a CBO carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years.

Sgt Jackson added: “Lammond’s offending has had a significant detrimental impact on members of the Chester community and he has persistently shown no consideration at all for the effects his unacceptable behaviour has had on others and on the city as a whole.

“No-one should be subjected to such behaviour and we will use whatever powers we have at our disposal to ensure that Chester is a pleasant place to live, work and visit.”

The CBO prohibits Lammond from entering Chester city centre for three years, as shown by an exclusion zone map. He may only enter to gain access to his registered medical practice, the DWP, or to court.

He also has to adhere to the requirements an Integrated Offender Management Programme.

Sgt Jackson added: “I hope this CBO sends a strong message that we will not tolerate criminal or anti-social behaviour in Chester and that, working closely with partner agencies, we will take the necessary action against those who blight our city with such behaviour.

“I also hope it gives Lammond the boundaries he needs to significantly improve his behaviour upon his release from prison.

“The CBO does not prevent him from accessing services for homeless people, as support is available outside his exclusion area, and the support offered by the Integrated Offender Management Programme will see dedicated officers work with him across seven different pathways to improve his life chances and choices.”

Anyone who sees Lammond in Chester city centre over the next three years is asked to call Cheshire Constabulary on 101 to report it.