A DEBT-ridden criminal gang member who supplied heroin in Carlisle and “nobbled” a frail addict he helped to brutally rob has been jailed for 12 years.

Sean Cleaver, 26, visited the city in early 2017 to work off £800 cocaine arrears by peddling the class A substance heroin to addicts.

Cleaver and a partner-in-crime, teenager Braden Moreton, set up shop in a first floor Lightfoot Drive flat. On February 7, 2017, they visited the property beneath, Cleaver demanding drug money from a frail 49-year-old user.

When no cash was forthcoming, Cleaver – nicknamed JP – delivered violent blows to the infirm householder while Moreton, then aged 18, attacked him with tools and even the man’s own crutch.

“They entered my house and smashed me about,” the victim said during a trial before Moreton was convicted of robbery. Badly hurt, he was left with a footprint on his face, robbed of cash and belongings, and hospitalised after dialling 999.

Later, while on Petteril Bank Road, the man was handed a phone and told “someone wants to speak to you”.

Prosecutor Tim Evans told Carlisle Crown Court: “That someone introduced himself as JP, spoke to him in a Liverpool accent and told him that he shouldn’t pick out anyone in an identification he was due to take part in.”

The scared man – who’d had his jaw broken and been placed in an induced coma – initially didn’t identify anyone.

Mr Evans spoke of Cleaver’s bid to “nobble” that victim, whose evidence was later heard by Moreton’s trial jury. “It was the investigation of the robbery that led to the drugs offences coming to light,” Mr Evans said.

Heroin was transported to Carlisle and advertised for sale, messages on a phone seized from Cleaver after his arrest in 2017 reading “best of both”, “24 hour” and “get on me”.

After Cleaver skipped bail, Moreton was jailed for 14 years as prison terms totalling almost four decades were handed out to crooks involved in the robbery and heroin supply.

While at large, Cleaver was the subject of a BBC Crimewatch appeal but traced after he was himself hospitalised having been attacked, stabbed and his leg broken. He was jailed for 12 years on Friday after admitting being concerned in heroin supply, robbery and perverting the course of justice. Recorder Eric Lamb noted the Carlisle crimes of Cleaver, who’d vowed to mend his ways, were committed after threats were made to his grandmother. “Be that as it may, you were at the very best naïve and more likely greedy,” said Recorder Lamb, “in acknowledging you could pay off the debt you had accrued for your own class A drugs by doing the bidding of those who were supplying class A drugs from Liverpool to Carlisle.”