Gainsborough town councillor and pub owner among group convicted of drug charges

White Hart Hotel, Lord Street, Gainsborough.
White Hart Hotel, Lord Street, Gainsborough.

A Gainsborough town councillor and pub owner is among eight people convicted of a conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine in Lincoln.

Councillor Sharon Hopkinson, owner of The White Hart Hotel on Lord Street, was convicted at Nottingham Crown Court.

The court heard the conspiracy centred around a property on Bailgate, Lincoln, city centre, which was being used to prepare significant quantities of Class A drugs for onward sale in the Lincoln area.

During a raid at the address, in addition to large quantities of heroin and cocaine, police discovered cutting agents, a hydraulic press and heat sealing equipment which was used to bulk out the drugs and repress them in order to maximise profit.

The court heard the offences took place between April 30, 2015 and July 1, 2016.

As well as Hopkinson, those convicted included 39-year-old Norman Foreshaw, also of The White Hart Hotel, Roger Bayes, 48, of Keddington Avenue, Lincoln, and 38-year-old James Hewitson, of High Street, Leadenham,

Charlie Murray, 28, and Elon Williams, 24, both of Washington Street, Hull pleaded guilty during the trial and Robert Sharpe, 50, of Greetwell Gate, Lincoln pleaded guilty before trial.

Foreshaw was also found guilty of a second conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine between July 31, 2016 and September 2, 2016.

Sentencing was adjourned until a later date.

Inspector Jo Fortune, of Lincolnshire Police, said: “This was a sophisticated operation, with all parties entering into an agreement to play their part in the distribution of Class A drugs, which can wreck lives and impacts on both users and their families.

“Police continue to seek out organised crime groups and cut supply networks into our county by targeting the higher market dealers.“

The White Hart was previously banned from selling alcohol in 2016 due to concerns about drug use at the venue.

No one from The White Hart Hotel was available for comment, while Gainsborough Town Council declined to comment.