CRIMINALS across south Essex were jailed for a number of different crimes this month including two drug dealers who "profited from the misery of users" in Southend.

Here are some of the south Essex criminals that were jailed in May:

1. Donal Francis, 38, and Jodi Thompson, 37, from Southend:

Two drug dealers who "profited from the misery of users" in Southend were jailed after illicit substances, cash and a BB gun were seized.

Police raided a property in York Road on December 20, 2022, when 38-year-old Donal Francis and 37-year-old Jodi Thompson were arrested inside, and several wraps of suspected Class A drugs were seized.

Both Francis and Thomson were charged and found guilty of possession with intent to supply cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin.

Thompson was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison and Francis was sentenced to two years and 11 months.


2. Ryan Holtum, 39, from Westcliff:

A “horrendous” paedophile who sexually abused a young girl from when she was just six years old was jailed for 18 years.

An investigation into Ryan Holtum, of Hainault Avenue, Westcliff, was launched in February 2020, after Essex Police received a report detailing multiple offences of sexual abuse against a child.

The victim bravely disclosed that Holtum had raped her on multiple occasions.

While being interviewed, he denied all allegations against him and tried to imply that the victim was lying.

However, the jury found him guilty of two counts of rape of a child under 13, causing a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity and one count of attempted rape of a child under 13.


3. Simon Price, 38, from Rochford:

A prolific shoplifter who stole from shops across Southend and its surrounding area "every other day" was jailed and banned from a number of stores.

Simon Price, 38, of Dapple Close in Rochford, was arrested following an incident in London Road, Westcliff.

He was quickly charged by officers with 16 counts of shoplifting, two counts of assault by beating, and one count of possession of an offensive weapon, harassment, and a public order offence.

Price was found guilty of the shoplifting, possessing an offensive weapon and the assaults by beating at Southend Magistrates' Court.

He was jailed for 50 weeks and given a two-year criminal behaviour order.