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Ian Fitzgibbon admits conspiracy to supply class A drugs in court

A MEMBER of a well-known city family pleaded guilty to conspiring to flood Merseyside with Class A drugs.

Ian Fitzgibbon, 38, of Heigham Gardens, St Helens, admitted conspiracy to supply heroin and party drug MDMA – the pure form of ecstacy – as well as money laundering.

His brother Jason Fitzgibbon, 40, of Crofton Mansions, North Sudley Road, Aigburth, is also charged with orchestrating the heroin trafficking racket.

Ian Fitzgibbon denied one other importation charge.

Appearing via videolink from HMP Wakefield at Manchester crown court he appeared emotional as he entered his guilty plea.

The court heard how the charges relate to a period primarily in 2011 when a gang is alleged to have sourced drugs from Turkey and illegally shipped them into the UK.

Jason Fitzgibbon appeared via videolink from HMP Long Lartin and did not enter a plea.

He is alleged to be the main ringleader behind the conspiracy.

The Fitzgibbon brothers appeared along with seven other defendants, including their parents, on five charges.

William and Christine FItzgibbon, 63 and 60,  of Edale Road, Allerton, are charged with money laundering.

Neither entered a plea and they must  return to court for a plea and case management hearing on February 22.

Both are currently on bail.

The other five defendants who appeared via videolink while in custody yesterday were:

Spencer Douglas, 44, of Budworth Drive, Woolton, on two counts including conspiracy to supply heroin.
Daniel Smith, 26, of Warren Road, Blundellsands, on three counts including conspiracy to supply heroin and MDMA.
Joseph Caldwell, 53, of Ironbridge View, Toxteth, on two counts including  conspiracy to supply heroin.
Anthony McNamee, 53, of no fixed address, on two counts including conspiracy to supply heroin.
Neil Harrison, 40, of Capella Close, Aigburth, on suspicion of conspiracy to supply MDMA.

Smith appeared via videolink from HMP Frankland.

His defence barrister suggested he may wish to be tried away from Manchester.

The case rests on more than 2,500 pieces of evidence, including interviews given by the Fitzgibbons, as well as telephone information gathered by a Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) probe. A SOCA expert will also give evidence.

After appearing in the dock herself Christine Fitzgibbon returned to the public gallery to watch  son Ian’s guilty plea.

He was arrested in Worcestershire on October 21 and will now wait for the other eight accused to be tried before being sentenced.

The charges against the group follow an ongoing investigation by SOCA.

Judge Michael Henshell presided over a hearing which saw more than 10 defence barristers appear in a packed courtroom.

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