A CHESTER crack cocaine and heroin dealer also owned three CS gas canisters.

Connor Robins, 24, of Clover Lane, Lache, pleaded guilty to be part of a large class A drug gang conspiracy which flooded Chester and Ellesmere Port with kilogrammes of crack cocaine and heroin between August 2019 and June 2020.

He also pleaded guilty before his trial to possession of three CS gas canisters and assaulting an emergency worker by slamming the door on a police officer's hand.

Robins, who appeared at Chester Crown Court on Monday, November 2 to be sentenced, was jailed for a total of six and a half years.

Prosecuting, Simon Parry said Robins was part of a large gang led by Mark Cavanagh, who was jailed for 14 and a half years in late September, and his involvement in the gang ran from August 2019 until January 2020, when he was arrested.

Robins was part of the 'Dell Line', which operated in the Lache area, and he played a "very significant role" in street dealing and getting drug supplies.

He had two 'graft phones' which were used to send out 'flare messages', alerting people to drug-dealing activity.

He would also be in regular contact with Cavanagh.

On October 23, Robins was travelling back from Ellesmere Port with fellow drugs gang member Derek Silva, who was driving when his vehicle was stopped by police. He initially came to a halt but then drove off.

The car then hit a tree and Silva and Robins ran away from the scene, before later being arrested.

Inside the car was a graft phone used to send out flare messages and a CS gas canister marked 'pepper spray' – which belonged to Robins.

Released under investigation, Robins continued to be involved in the drugs gang and in January 2020 was spotted receiving a delivery from another drug gang member, Paul Cusato.

Robins also supplied undercover police officers with crack cocaine and heroin worth £25 on January 20.

On February 21, at 11.15am, police executed a search warrant on Robins's home, where a second CS gas canister was found, along with cash, scales and a graft phone.

When police had initially entered, Robins tried to shut the door, and ended up slamming the door shut on a police officer's hand, causing the hand to bleed.

Robins tried to flee through the rear of the house but was arrested, and apologised to the police officer, who was treated at the Countess of Chester Hospital for two lacerations to his fingers.

The following day, police were called again to the house, where a third CS gas canister was found.

Honorary Recorder of Chester Judge Steven Everett said he would sentence Robins on the assumption all three CS gas canisters were obtained at the same time.

Telephone evidence showed Robins was prepared to use the canisters 'as pepper spray' if needed.

He had seven previous convictions for 13 offences, and had previously been jailed for 13 months by Judge Everett in February 2019 for possession with intent to supply class B drugs.

Defending, Michael Whitty said Robins had historically been a cannabis user and this had got him involved in the supply of drugs, and had taken cocaine.

He "plainly" regretted getting involved in the offences and knew he was in a serious position.

Judge Everett told Robins: "You appeared in front of me and you got a 13-month sentence. I am quite prepared to accept for the most part it has been class B drugs [you were previously involved in].

"Cannabis is a truly, truly evil drug. People who take it, think it's just calming.

"There are at least three side effects. It causes mental health issues, there is a wealth of medical evidence to show it causes heart problems, and it gets people involved in the drugs scene. I have seen it so often.

"You were supplying drugs in the Lache area, where there are a lot of decent people.

"You had at least one shot across your bows when you were arrested in October.

"The one single mitigating factor is that you were taking cocaine as well and had built up a debt."

Robins was jailed for 66 months for the drugs conspiracy offences and a further 12 months for possession of the CS gas canisters and assault on an emergency worker.

The drugs and canisters were to be forfeited and destroyed.