Sheffield drug dealer challenges length of prison term

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A drug dealer from Sheffield who went to ground for 12 years - assuming a dead child’s identity to cover his tracks - has won a reduction in his prison term.

Stephen Sharman was handed a total 12-year term at the Sheffield Crown Court in July last year after admitting a string of offences - including possessing heroin with intent, conspiracy to supply heroin and having false identity documents.

He went on the run after police spotted him throwing a £3,000 package of heroin into a field from his motorbike in 1999.

Sharman was questioned but skipped bail and went to ground.

He evaded capture by using the details of a dead child to obtain a passport and managed to obtain identity documents, including driving licences, to help hide his real identity.

But he was finally tracked down when he was arrested for a suspected drink driving offence in March 2011 and had his fingerprints taken, which matched prints taken in 1999.

Sharman was also prosecuted last year for his involvement in a drug-supply network operating between 2011 and 2012.

Undercover officers carried out an elaborate surveillance operation on addresses in Sheffield linked to Sharman and his accomplices.

The gang was involved in running heroin and drugs cash between Liverpool and Sheffield, and a half-kilo haul of heroin was discovered at a Sheffield flat where traces of Sharman’s DNA were also detected.

A search of his flat in Sheffield uncovered a number of incriminating mobile phones, plus £13,000 in cash.

He challenged his sentence at London’s Appeal Court and had it reduced from 12 to 10 years.