A CRIMINAL gangster known as ‘Leggy Pownall’ has been jailed for seven years for conspiring to rob a St Helens drug dealer. Described in court by Judge David Aubrey as “ruthless”, John Pownall, aged 51 of Third Street, Bamfurlong, Wigan pleaded guilty to the plot against Michael Baker in January, 2011. Pownall’s conviction follows an 18-month long investigation by officers from Titan (North West Regional Organised Crime Unit), into a group of criminals who played a part in the conspiracy. Last August five other men were convicted for their role. A gang had entered Baker’s house on Watery Lane in Sutton and restrained him by using cable ties. Armed with a stash of drugs, they were arrested by police, who had been waiting for them. Following the sentencing, Detective Superintendent Jason Hudson, head of Operations for Titan said: “This sentence has seen an organised criminal, who is also known as ‘Leggy Pownall’, taken off the streets of the North West. “Our commitment at Titan to bring him to justice has been determined and prolonged. "His conviction, and those of his associates, of a robbery where they were prepared to rob others criminals of drugs for financial gain sends a powerful message that no-one is untouchable and Titan will continue to work hard to take organised criminals off our streets to make our communities safer for all." Pownall was also convicted of mortgage fraud and under the Proceeds of Crime Act will have his criminally acquired assets stripped. He also had links with a corrupt St Helens based police officer, Detective Constable Paul Fletcher, who was jailed for seven years for leaking confidential information to criminals and supplying anabolic steroids. Ads by Google Basic Bank Account Uk Open An Account With No Credit Checks Or Hidden Fees. Apply Now ThinkBanking.co.uk In sentencing at Liverpool Crown Court, Judge Aubrey said Pownall had “instigated a well planned, organised robbery which was evidenced by his involvement with a corrupt Merseyside Police Officer (Paul Fletcher)". The judge added: “Pownall was the organiser and instigator of the robbery not the executor. He had an appalling criminal record." Pownall had previously been featured in a Sunday People story called ‘Bad Fellas’ as one of the North West's top organised criminals. In relation to his conviction for mortgage fraud, Pownall will be sentenced on Friday, July 13. Michael Baker, 34, and Clint Tinsley, 33, were convicted of conspiracy to supply cannabis and illegal psychoactive drugs at Liverpool Crown Court on Friday, May 18. Each received jail terms of three years at Liverpool Crown Court on Wednesday, June 6. The other men jailed last August for being involved in the conspiracy were: Newton McKenzie, 32, from Medlock Way, in Wigan, who was jailed for six-and-a-half years Craig Barker, 26, from Newlyn Drive, Ashton –in-Makerfield, who was jailed for eight years. John Jones, 32, from Silverwell Street in Bolton was given four-and-a-half years. Lee Fairclough, 23, from Leagate Close in Wigan was given three-and-a-half-years. Otis Smith, of no fixed address was jailed for five years.
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