Drug dealer evicted from council home

William McDowell
William McDowell

Council chiefs have used new powers for the first time to evict a convicted Wigan drug dealer.

William McDowall was one of nine local criminals to be jailed for a total of 77 years late last year for their involvement in drug importing and supply across the borough.

The 47-year-old, of Kingsley Avenue, Worsley Mesnes, was himself convicted of supplying cannabis and the importation of and conspiracy to supply cocaine.

He was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

But despite this he refused to sign a termination of his council house tenancy.

Wigan Council, as the landlord of the property, applied to the County Court at Wigan using the Absolute Ground for Possession legislation and a possession order was granted on May 26.

This case is the first time Wigan Council has used these new powers to terminate a tenancy based on criminal behaviour of a tenant.

It means that anyone who was still living in the property based on the previous tenancy of McDowall no longer has the right to remain in the property.

A Wigan Council spokesman said: “We are determined to act in the best interests of communities across Wigan borough and we will take all steps possible to make sure residents can live in safe communities.

“This is the first time we have used these new powers when faced with a situation where serious offences have taken place by a tenant.”

Law was part of a gang that smuggled cocaine hidden in computer hard drives into the country from Mexico.

The drugs ring, led by another Worsley Mesnes man Paul Law, was smashed after long-running surveillance operation by Wigan’s Organised Crime Investigation Team.

Numerous raids were carried out across Wigan with large amounts of cash, drugs and equipment associated with cocaine production seized.

It is estimated that during the conspiracy, around 18kg of adulterated cocaine would have been generated from the 22 deliveries which were identified as having been made from Mexico to the addresses of those involved.