A COUNTY lines drug dealer who used a 14-year-old schoolgirl to transport heroin and cocaine from London to Brighton has been jailed for eight years.

Michael Ajanaku, 25, from Dartford, was only out of prison for a month before being caught again when police became aware of a girl trying to avoid the metal detection arch when she arrived at Brighton Station in September 2019.

Police conducted welfare checks on the girl who was wearing dirty clothes and had travelled from London with 10 wraps of cocaine and 25 of heroin.

While at the station, a man called her phone and asked where she was. He was told they were at the station, and replied that he would come to their location before hanging up.

Shortly after the girl was taken into police custody, Ajanaku arrived at the railway station and asked staff about a friend’s phone that he was told was there.

Plain clothed officers overheard the conversation and approached him, placing him under arrest as they believed he was the intended recipient of the drugs the girl was carrying. Two mobile phones and three sim cards were taken off Ajanaku after his arrest.

The police analysed both Ajanaku and the girl’s phone which revealed enough evidence for Ajanaku to be charged with being concerned in the supply of heroin and crack cocaine. They also found eight phone calls between the two.

Ajanaku denied two counts of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs.

The Argus: Michael AjanakuMichael Ajanaku

Lewes Crown Court heard that he was on license when he was arrested, only a month after his release for a similar offence committed in Kent.

The jury returned guilty verdicts for both offences and a judge sentenced him to eight years in prison for each, to be served concurrently.

British Transport Police Detective Constable Andy Humes said it was an unusual case considering the lack of “tangible evidence” against Ajanaku.

He added: “The court were told he was not found in possession of any controlled substances, and that there were no messages on his phones that explicitly linked him to the young girl or being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs.

“However, by analysing the girl’s phone and its data, alongside that of Ajanaku’s phones, the prosecution was able to show the court that his explanation of events did not ring true."

He added: “This was a great example of teamwork between British Transport Police and Sussex Police, resulting in someone who seeks to exploit vulnerable people ending up behind bars, and those who need safeguarding receiving support."

No charges were brought regarding the 14-year-old girl and she was subsequently safeguarded by social services.