ANDOVER police have thanked members of the community who assisted during the Smannell Road murder investigation, following the conviction of Zandrae Smith today.

Smith, 21, of Octavia Court, Bradford, was sentenced to life imprisonment after being found guilty of the murder of Tommy Ferris, a rival drug dealer, in an alleyway off Smannell Road on April 13.

Detective Chief Inspector Ben Chivers said: “I know that today’s sentence doesn’t bring closure to the family and friends of Tommy Ferris, but I hope that it allows them to move on to the next stage of grieving.

“They have shown great courage throughout the investigation and trial, having to listen to the details about how Tommy died.

“I would like to thank all of the members of the community that assisted during the investigation, provided witness statements and attended court to give evidence.

“This case highlights the harm, misery and devastation that drug use, supply and the carrying of knives inflicts upon our communities."

Smith, and Mr Ferris were drug dealers for rival networks called Brian and Jamie, which both operate in the Andover area.

DCI Chivers added: "We are committed to disrupting drugs supply and knife crime across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, we regularly carry out operations to make the two counties a safer place to live and work.

“Those operations are more effective when the community provides us information, which can be dealt with confidentially.

“I encourage anyone with information to contact us via 101 or alternatively call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”