Drug dealer jailed for Samurai sword threat
A Fishponds drug dealer has been sent to prison after threatening to kill a “vulnerable” man with a samurai sword.
Bernet Cochrane was caught after a video of the incident, posted on social media as a warning to other drug dealers, was reported to police.
The video, posted on Snapchat in February, showed Cochrane, of Cherrytree Crescent, Hillfields, using the sword to smash a TV and other possessions in a Staple Hill flat, as he threatened a 40-year-old man.
Avon and Somerset police said the victim was “terrified” and left fearing for his life.
At the time of the offence, 27-year-old Cochrane was on licence after a previous jail sentence for selling class A drugs to undercover officers.
An anonymous tip-off led police to the video, posted on a Snapchat profile called “playbars” along with a message warning people: “Don’t get on my wrong side”.
Cochrane and the man who filmed the clip, 23-year-old Stephon Harris, of Coriander Walk in Eastville, were both convicted of making threats to kill following a trial.
Cochrane was jailed for three years and four months at Bristol Crown Court on July 23. Harris was sentenced to a year and 10 months’ imprisonment.
After the two men were jailed, investigating officer PC Andrew Smetham said: “The victim was a vulnerable man who bought drugs off Bernet Cochrane.
“He’d inadvertently upset him by facilitating a meeting between him and rival drug dealers, which resulted in Cochrane being assaulted.
“Stephon Harris filmed the victim being threatened so a video could be posted on social media. This was effectively a show of force by Cochrane, designed to let other drug dealers know he had access to a weapon and would deal with people who didn’t follow his rules.
“The victim, who has a number of serious medical conditions, was terrified and feared for his life.
“Once we received the anonymous tip-off we were able to link Cochrane to the Snapchat profile and recovered a black Moncler jacket during a search of his home, which matched the one in the video.
“I hope this sends a strong message to criminals that even if you think you’re anonymous on a social media platform, we can still identify you and bring you to justice.”