POLICE have charged a second man for drug dealing offences after Colchester was left reeling from three deaths in four days.

Bryan Tegunde has appeared before Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court charged with being concerned in the supply of heroin and concerned in the supply of crack cocaine.

The 19-year-old, of Cambridge Park Road, Redbridge, will appear before Ipswich Crown Court next month.

Sabrino Hajderaj appeared before magistrates in Chelmsford on Wednesday to face two charges of drug possession with intent to supply and one charge of possessing a knife.

A further hearing for Hajderaj, 20, of Sunny Bank in Croydon, will be held before Ipswich Crown Court on Wednesday, June 12.  

A 21-year-old from London has been released on bail while police enquiries continue.

The arrests follow two deaths in Greenstead and a third in the city centre, with all three said to be related to the consumption of heroin.

Councillors said they had been left shocked by the news and pledged their support to those affected, with the three people having died in a four-day period between Saturday and Tuesday.

Police have now said officers will maintain a significant presence in the area to allay the public’s concerns.

Inspector Christopher Coyles of Colchester’s local policing team said: “I appreciate there will be a very real and understandable concern following the news of three deaths linked to drug use in Colchester.

“Alongside the work of Operation Raptor officers, officers within Colchester’s community policing team will be maintaining a visible presence in the city to patrol areas such as Castle Park and the city centre to ensure we are there and available to anyone with any concerns.

“We will also be keeping up those patrols to identify where there is any suspicious activity and to identify or safeguard anyone who may be at risk.”

Inspector Mark Jones, who is part of Essex Police’s Operation Raptor team to dismantle county lines drugs gangs, said their investigation is continuing.

He said: “Our work investigating a county line of interest is progressing well and we are working tirelessly to ensure those suspected of supplying Class A substances in Colchester are stopped.

“We strongly advise all drug users to get support from experts, such as those at Open Road.”