Essex car dealer jailed for drug dealing after pandemic left his business struggling ‘to an extreme extent’

  • Car dealer jailed for six-and-a-half years after admitted drugs charges
  • Jack Jacovou helped oversee £200,000 drugs ring after his business hit financial difficulties
  • Police discovered £28,000 worth of cocaine and cannabis at his home in Kirby Cross

Time 8:37 am, May 4, 2023

A car dealer who turned to drug dealing when the pandemic caused his business to struggle has been jailed for six-and-a-half years.

Jack Jacovou became a leader in the £200,000 drugs ring after finding himself in financial difficulty during lockdown.

The operation made the dealer boss a key player in the Essex drugs scene and he previously admitted to offences at Chelmsford Crown Court.

He has now returned for sentencing, where the full scale of his involvement was laid bare in public for the first time.

The court heard that police raided a property in Colchester, late in 2020, where they discovered cocaine with a street value of between £180,600 and £206,400.

Elsewhere, officers also discovered £28,000 worth of cocaine and cannabis at Jacovou’s home in Thorpe Road, Kirby Cross.

Following the raids, Jacovou was arrested and charged with possession with intent to supply cocaine and cannabis and being concerned in the supply of cocaine.

During his sentencing hearing, prosecutor Georgia Beatty, told the court that 2.8kg of cannabis was found in a box in Jacovou’s bedroom as well as a further 6.4g downstairs.

The Essex County Standard reports that officers also found packaging, scales and vacuum bags.

At the Colchester property, belonging to another suspected drug dealer, police found four blocks of cocaine weighing 3.5kg.

In mitigation, Jacovou’s lawyer, Subagarey Pathmanathan, said her client had been running a used car business which had struggled ‘to an extreme extent’ during the pandemic.

According to Companies House, the defendant is a director of The Van Hire Company (Dagenham), which had compulsory strike-off action suspended in June 2021, although its latest accounts remain overdue.

Pathmanathan also told the court that Jacovou had fallen into a ‘downward spiral’ and there was evidence of him being in debt and threatened by his co-conspirators.

After hearing all the evidence, Judge Timothy Godfrey ordered the defendant to spend six-and-a-half years behind bars.

‘You had a significant role in the operation of which you played a part. Considerable funds went through your bank account relating to the sale of drugs,’ he said.

‘I accept you were in debt and received threats but the fact remains you were involved for your own financial benefit as well as seeking to repay your debt.’

The hefty sentence was welcomed by Essex Police, who say Jacovou played a ‘significant part’ in north Essex drug supply

Det Insp Frazer Low, of Essex Police’s serious and organised crime unit, said: ‘There is no doubt that Jacovou was playing a significant part in the supply of Class A drugs across north Essex.

‘The drugs that we seized during this operation were destined for our streets, where they would undoubtedly exploit people and cause harm to our communities.

‘The work of the team in this investigation was exemplary, from identifying Jacovou, to building a case against that was so strong he was left with no alternative but to admit his guilt.

‘We will also be pursuing a serious crime prevention order which we believe will put barriers up to a return to a criminal lifestyle when he leaves prison.

‘We’ll be working very closely with the CPS in order to secure the order and some really strong conditions within it.’

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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