Teenage drug dealer caught with zombie knife and cocaine in Little London after mum called police

A teenage drug dealer was caught with a zombie knife and cocaine in Little London after his mum called the police, Leeds Crown Court heard.

By Daniel Sheridan
Monday, 13th June 2022, 2:43 pm

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Denilson Tavares-Manuel, 18, was being chased by a gang carrying machetes on April 7, 2022 on Carlton Grove, Woodhouse.

His mum had called the police after spotting the gang activity.

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Denilson Tavares-Manuel, 18, was being chased by a gang carrying machetes on April 7, 2022 on Carlton Grove, Woodhouse.

"At 11.15am she had heard a commotion", prosecutor Elanor Mitten told Leeds Crown Court on Wednesday.

"She looked outside to see her sons being chased with machetes."

When officers arrived, Tavares-Manuel, of Servia Drive, Woodhouse, and his brother were stopped by an officer.

Tavares-Manuel was arrested for possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply after the officer discovered more than £2,400 of wraps of drugs including cocaine and heroin.

However, a further search revealed Tavares-Manuel was also in possession of a "large black and blue zombie knife".

He was further arrested for possession of a bladed article.

Tavares-Manuel was questioned the same day and gave no comment answers.

He pleaded guilty to the offences at Leeds Magistrates' Court on April 29.

The court was told Tavares-Manuel's mum had previously told police about cannabis found in their home, which was seized.

As a result of the forfeiture, the suppliers figured Tavares-Manuel was "responsible for the loss of income" and he turned to drug dealing to repay the debt, the court heard.

In mitigation, Stuart Field said Tavares-Manuel was "desperate to go out to earn money for himself" so had got a job in a bakery.

An accident which caused injury to his fingers caused him to lose that employment, the court heard.

"Through cajolement, encouragement and threats, he ended up doing that which brings him to court today", Mr Field said.

"The area is one that as long as I have been in practice is an area of Leeds which has troubled the police periodically with problems of drug dealing and anti social behaviour.

"The incident which lead to his arrest lead to a report in the Yorkshire Evening Post that very day about stopping powers."

Tavares-Manuel was intending to get back into education and employment when his family completes a move outside of West Yorkshire, the court was told.

He told the probation service he had "become involved with the wrong people" and was "easily influenced".

The probation officer told the court: "He had a bad feeling something was going to happen.

"Therefore he left his house with the zombie knife.

"He bought the weapon feeling he needed it naively for his own protection."

Sentencing him, Recorder Mark Giuliani told Tavares-Manuel "knives do not protect you, knives result in the deaths of individuals."

The Recorder continued: "The prosecution said you were subject to exploitation and pressure because your mother, who is in court today, had the sense to ring the police to tell them you had cannabis in their home.

"As a result of that and the seizure, those that gave you the cannabis figured you were responsible for their loss of income.

"It is clear to me you have a supportive family who are doing everything in their power to prevent you from getting involved in crime.

"They have gone to the extent to move from the area.

"So concerned was your mother she rang the police and told the police you were outside her house involved in gang activity selling drugs.

"You were being chased with two men with machetes

"You had on you a large quantity of drugs."

Tavares-Manuel was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for two years.

He was ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work, 25 rehabiliation days and made subject of a curfew between 2pm and 6am for the next month to keep him off the streets of Leeds.

"That is to allow time to keep you off the streets [of Leeds]", the Recorder concluded.

"I hope you never ever trouble these courts again"