Drug boss and partner in crime lose appeals over sentence

Newcastle Combined Court. Copyright Google Images.
Newcastle Combined Court. Copyright Google Images.

The boss of a £120,000 Teesside drugs gang and his first lieutenant have had appeals against their jail terms thrown out by top judges.

“Career criminal” Bronson Tyers, 39, and Wisdom Lee, 34, were first and second in command of a gang which dealt amphetamine and heroin in Middlesbrough, Hartlepool and Billingham.

Tyers, of Low Lane, Yarm, was jailed for 14 years in May 2011 at Newcastle Crown Court, having been convicted of conspiracies to supply Class A and Class B drugs.

Lee, of Geneva Road, Darlington, was found guilty of the same offences and got 12 years.

Today Lady Justice Sharp, Mr Justice Edis and Judge Jeffrey Pegden QC, sitting at London’s Criminal Appeal Court, heard them both challenge their sentences.

Tyers was convicted after 12kg of heroin and amphetamine were seized by police in four separate swoops during an investigation codenamed Operation Santa Cruz.

Tyers used Lee as a “facilitator” in the larger heroin deals.

Lawyers for Lee today claimed there was “an objectionable disparity” between his punishment and jail terms meted out to other members of the gang.

But Lady Justice Sharp said Lee deserved what he got as he “occupied the second position in the organization, after Tyers, in the hierarchy as his lieutenant.”

Tyers’ legal team argued the judge who jailed him had wrongly taken into account charges of which he had previously been acquitted.

But Lady Justice Sharp said the judge’s “powerful and damning observations” about Tyers reflected nothing more than “the evidence on which the jury convicted him”.

“Permission too appeal is refused,” she concluded.