Basildon drug dealer jailed after biting police officer

A drug dealer caught with £3,000 of Class A drugs, who bit a police officer whilst he was being arrested, has been jailed for five years.

Basildon Crown Court heard how officers from the South Operation Raptor team were patrolling in Ravensfield, Basildon at 7pm on Monday 12 August when they saw two people acting suspiciously and suspected a Class A drug deal was about to take place.

As they approached, 28-year-old Rangarirai Gwatidzo made off on his bicycle.

Officers gave chase and caught up with him in nearby Rippleside where he dumped the bike and tried to run.

As officers tried to arrest him, he grappled with them and bit one police constable on the hand.

He was arrested and found to have £144 in cash, cannabis and a phone linking him to the supply of Class A drugs.

Officers then searched his home in Ravensfield, Basildon where they found 280 wraps of the Class A drug crack cocaine worth £3,000, a knuckle duster, drug weighing scales and a bag of cannabis.

Gwatidzo was arrested and charged with two counts of possession with intent to supply a Class A drug, possession of cannabis and assaulting an emergency worker.

He pleaded guilty to the charges at Basildon Crown Court and was jailed for five years.

Following the sentencing investigating officer PC Dan Onley of the South Operation Raptor team said: “Just four years ago Operation Raptor arrested Gwatidzo for Class A drug supply and he was jailed for three years.

“He clearly hasn’t learnt his lesson and continues to think that he can supply drugs on the streets of our county – quite simply he can’t.

“Operation Raptor caught up with him then and we caught up with him now and we will continue to be one step behind ruthless drug dealers who prey on the vulnerable and blight communities.

“The fact that Gwatidzo assaulted one of our officers demonstrates that he has absolutely no regard for anyone but himself.

“Attacking frontline police officers who work hard every day to protect and serve our communities, is completely unacceptable and we will continue to ensure that people who do so will be put before the courts.”

The five year sentence is broken down as follows: 60 months imprisonment for each count of possession with intent to supply; one month imprisonment for possession of cannabis; three months for assaulting an emergency worker; all to run concurrently.

Essex Police set up Operation Raptor teams in the North, South and West of the county to tackle drug and gang-related crime.

If you have information about drug or gang-related crime in your community contact Essex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Gwatidzo was sentenced at Basildon Crown Court on Wednesday 11 September.

JAILED: Rangarirai Gwatidzo

Mick Ferris

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