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New Milton drug dealer Zak Mapes jailed for five years at Southampton Crown Court

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A DRUG dealer struck a man with a baseball bat before pulling out a knife and telling another that he would "skin him alive".

Zak Mapes (22), who is to become a father for the first time later this year, was jailed for five years at Southampton Crown Court after it heard he also dealt cocaine and heroin.

Prosecutor John Dyer said Mapes set upon Darren Carter at Davis Field in New Milton on September last year.

Zak Mapes
Zak Mapes

After a row, Mapes went back inside his Nelson Close home and emerged with a baseball bat, which bystanders said he used to hit Mr Carter at least six times.

Witness Michael Brown shouted at Mapes who was held back by another man and led away from the scene.

When Mr Brown followed the pair to make sure they were leaving, Mapes pulled out a pocket knife and swung it in his direction.

Mr Dyer said: "While being held back he [Mapes] was shouting ‘I’m going to skin you alive’."

In a victim statement, Mr Brown said he and his family "lived in fear that a disgruntled drug dealer will come to our house" mistakenly believing they use or want drugs, and neighbours were "fed up" with drug dealing there.

"I realise I could have died if Zak Mapes had stabbed me," he continued, which would have left his pregnant fiancée having to bring up their child alone.

Mr Dyer said prior to this Mapes had also been in trouble with police for two instances of hard drug dealing.

He failed to stop his BMW one evening in December 2020 in Lymington when required by PC Hurrell, sparking a short pursuit before Mapes fled on foot into Pennington Oval.

The officer failed to catch Mapes but scoured the area and found a mobile phone discarded on a garage roof.

It contained numerous texts to "Zak" that were about drug dealing. PC Hurrell also found a small quantity of cannabis in Mapes’ car.

In March 2021 the officer arrested Mapes at his home and seized a different phone which contained further evidence of Mapes’ drug dealing, plus cannabis and scales with traces of cocaine.

The court heard when the first drugs offence took place Mapes was awaiting sentencing at Southampton Crown Court for other matters of dealing drugs, for which he was given a 24-month suspended prison term.

The violent offences with the baseball bat and knife put him in breach of that punishment and another 18-month suspended sentence term he was given for a separate battery offence.

Mapes pleaded guilty to two matters, each of being concerned in the supply of heroin and crack cocaine and two charges of possessing cannabis.

He also admitted committing assault occasioning actual bodily harm against Mr Carter and threatening behaviour against Mr Brown.

Defending, Paul Walker said his client’s behaviour had been driven by a drug addiction and he was "deeply ashamed of his actions" and took responsibility.

He handed in character references and said the pre-sentence probation report was positive as it noted Mapes had a newfound maturity and insight into his offending.

In terms of the violence offences, Mapes wanted to mete out some "summary justice" on Mr Carter who had stolen Mapes’ television, Mr Walker claimed.

Mr Walker pointed out Mapes’ family were in court and supportive, and noted his partner was pregnant with their first child.

He asked Judge Nicholas Rowland to be as "merciful" as possible.

Judge Rowland said the five-year term reflected the "totality" of Mapes’ offending.

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