republic

Ex-transport cop jailed for smuggling £600k of drugs into Scotland in machinery

A SHAMED ex-transport cop and his accomplice have been jailed after they were snared smuggling drugs into Scotland inside machinery.

David Brown, 51, and Patrick Hattie, 52, were caged yesterday after police seized cocaine, cannabis resin and herbal cannabis with a value £2million.

Ex-BTP cop David Brown has been jailed for six years

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Ex-BTP cop David Brown has been jailed for six yearsCredit: Police Scotland
Brown was snared over his involvement in drug smuggling into Scotland

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Brown was snared over his involvement in drug smuggling into ScotlandCredit: Crown Office

The pair were caught after being recruited by haulage firm boss Lawrence Phee, who ran the illegal enterprise.

Prosecutors revealed how drugs were imported from Spain into Scotland hidden inside machinery.

Brown, of Carfin, Lanarkshire, claimed he had been duped into trafficking drugs after being stopped ready to board a ferry to Ireland in December 2018.

He was sentenced to six and a half years and Hattie, of Airdrie, Lanarkshire, to five and a half years at the High Court in Glasgow.


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They had earlier been convicted of being concerned in the supply of the drugs between November 1 and December 1 2018.

Lord Summers said: “I am satisfied that Mr Phee was responsible for the movement of the drugs in this trial.

“You, Mr Brown, had a hands on role and moved the van from Mr Hattie’s yard to Cairnryan and were more than a simple courier…Mr Hattie was the facilitator.

“You knew you were involved in a significant operation due to the size of the container Mr Hattie transported.”

Addressing Brown, he went on: “You were an inspector for the British Transport Police and were awarded a long service and good conduct medal.

Drugs were hidden in machinery and transported from Spain

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Drugs were hidden in machinery and transported from SpainCredit: Crown Office

“You had a career in the police and the knowledge of criminal offending increased your responsibility.”

Phee, of Airdrie, was jailed for eight and a half years after a separate hearing in 2020 after he pled guilty to the same charges.

Prosecutor Alan Cameron said: “The drugs were hidden and then transported in lorry trailers run by a variety of individuals and companies.

“The drivers of the vehicles and the operators of the transport companies were, at times, unaware of the presence of drugs.”

The court heard Phee organised for approximately 15 shipments to be made from Spain into the UK and sometimes onto the Republic of Ireland.

David Brown, right, and Lawrence Phee, centre, at Cairnryan ferry terminal

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David Brown, right, and Lawrence Phee, centre, at Cairnryan ferry terminalCredit: Crown Office

This often involved contacting transport firms using an alias and a fake company name – such as Pat Kelly of Kelly Compressors.

Mr Cameron said the total quantity of the drugs smuggled was unknown – but told the court two incidents gave an “insight” into the large scale operation.

In May 2018, Phee – known as Pat Kelly – and two associates met with a transport company in Alicante.

A huge generator wrapped in clingfilm was then loaded onto a lorry.

The drivers of the truck were later stopped by police in France and a total of 126kg of herbal cannabis was found stashed inside the generator.

The innocent drivers were held for two days before being freed.

A lorry carrying the drugs was stopped by police

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A lorry carrying the drugs was stopped by policeCredit: Crown Office

The herbal cannabis had a cost in Scotland of £504,000 and £750,000 in Ireland, if sold in kilogram deals – but Mr Cameron said “maximum potential value would be greater” if the drugs were broken down further.

On December 1 2018, a van driven by Brown was stopped by police at Cairnryan ferry port in Dumfries and Galloway.

He claimed to be a courier who had collected a load from Kelly Compressors in Shotts, Lanarkshire.

One of the officers – who had knowledge of machinery – was suspicious about alterations made to a fuel tank that was being transported.

Mr Cameron: “When it was fully open, it was approximately three quarters full of packages of controlled drugs.”

It emerged Phee had tailed the van to Cairnryan, but was not linked to the seizure at that time.

A total of 4kg of cocaine, 23kg of herbal cannabis and 5,072 bars of cannabis resin were discovered.

The drugs were valued at £600,000 in Scotland – £1m in Ireland – but again bring in more cash if split into smaller street deals.

Brown told jurors how he had been offered work at short notice of a trip to Ireland using a van hired by Kelly Compressors.

He said in evidence that he thought he was transporting an oil tank as that was mentioned in the paperwork.

Tony Graham QC, defending Brown, said: “Mr Brown should not be here as he was a police officer and became involved in criminality of a different kind.

“There was a naivety to his involvement.”

Donald Findlay QC, defending Hattie, said: “He just chose to turn a blind eye to things that would have caused him to hear alarm bells ringing.”

It is because of this position he finds himself here today.”

The pair will both face a Proceeds of Crime hearing at a later date.

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Shamed ex-cop and accomplice jailed for 12 years for drug smuggling operation

A shamed ex-police inspector and his accomplice who were involved in huge drug smuggling[1] operation have been jailed for a total of 12 years.

David Brown, 51, and Patrick Hattie, 52, were today locked up after police seized cocaine, cannabis resin and herbal cannabis with a value of upwards of £2m.

The pair were snared having been recruited by haulage firm boss Lawrence Phee, who ran the illegal enterprise.

Prosecutors revealed how drugs were imported from Spain into Scotland hidden inside machinery.

Brown, of Carfin, Lanarkshire, claimed he had been duped into trafficking drugs after being stopped ready to board a ferry to Ireland in December 2018.

Brown was today sentenced to six and a half years and Hattie, of Airdrie[2], Lanarkshire, to five and a half years at the High Court[3] in Glasgow.

They had earlier been convicted of being concerned in the supply of the drugs between November 1 and December 1 2018.

Lord Summers said: “I am satisfied that Mr Phee was responsible for the movement of the drugs in this trial.

“You, Mr Brown, had a hands on role and moved the van from Mr Hattie’s yard to Cairnryan and were more than a simple courier…Mr Hattie was the facilitator.

“You knew you were involved in a significant operation due to the size of the container Mr Hattie transported.”

Addressing Brown, he went on: “You were an inspector for the British Transport Police[4] and were awarded a long service and good conduct medal.

“You had a career in the police and the knowledge of criminal offending increased your responsibility.”

Phee, of Airdrie, was jailed for eight and a half years after a separate hearing in 2020 after he pled guilty to the same charges.

He had directed the operation from his base in North Lanarkshire between November 1 2017 and December 1 2018.

Prosecutor Alan Cameron said: “The drugs were transported from the Alicante region of Spain to the UK with industrial machinery.

“These were most commonly generators and compressors.

“The drugs were hidden and then transported in lorry trailers run by a variety of individuals and companies.

“The drivers of the vehicles and the operators of the transport companies were, at times, unaware of the presence of drugs.”

The court heard Phee organised for approximately 15 shipments to be made from Spain into the UK and sometimes onto the Republic of Ireland.

This often involved contacting transport firms using an alias and a fake company name – such as Pat Kelly of Kelly Compressors.

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Mr Cameron said the total quantity of the drugs smuggled was unknown.

But, two incidents gave an “insight” into the large scale operation.

In May 2018, Phee – known as Pat Kelly – and two associates met with a transport company in Alicante.

A huge generator wrapped in clingfilm was then loaded onto a lorry.

The drivers of the truck were later stopped by police in France.

A total of 126kg of herbal cannabis was found stashed inside the generator.

The innocent drivers were held for two days before being freed.

The herbal cannabis had a cost in Scotland of £504,000 and £750,000 in Ireland, if sold in kilogram deals.

But, Mr Cameron said “maximum potential value would be greater” if the drugs were broken down further.

On December 1 2018, a van driven by Brown was stopped by police at Cairnryan ferry port in Dumfries and Galloway.

He claimed to be a courier who had collected a load from Kelly Compressors in Shotts, Lanarkshire.

One of the officers – who had knowledge of machinery – was suspicious about alterations made to a fuel tank that was being transported.

Mr Cameron: “When it was fully open, it was approximately three quarters full of packages of controlled drugs.”

It emerged Phee had tailed the van to Cairnryan, but was not linked to the seizure at that time.

A total of four kg of cocaine, 23kg of herbal cannabis and 5,072 bars of cannabis resin were discovered.

The drugs were valued at £600,000 in Scotland – £1m in Ireland – but again bring in more cash if split into smaller street deals.

Brown told jurors how he had been offered work at short notice of a trip to Ireland using a van hired by Kelly Compressors.

He told jurors in evidence in evidence that he thought he was transporting an oil tank as that was mentioned in the paperwork.

Tony Graham QC, defending Brown, today said: “Mr Brown should not be here as he was a police officer and became involved in criminality of a different kind.

“There was a naivety to his involvement.”

Donald Findlay QC, defending Hattie, said: “He just chose to turn a blind eye to things that would have caused him to hear alarm bells ringing.

“It is because of this position he finds himself here today.”

The pair will both face a Proceeds of Crime hearing at a later date.

References

  1. ^ drug smuggling (www.glasgowlive.co.uk)
  2. ^ Airdrie (www.glasgowlive.co.uk)
  3. ^ High Court (www.glasgowlive.co.uk)
  4. ^ British Transport Police (www.glasgowlive.co.uk)
  5. ^ coronavirus (www.glasgowlive.co.uk)
  6. ^ latest foodie news (www.glasgowlive.co.uk)

Inside England’s Euro 2020 base with stunning rooms, pool and spa

England’s footballers are enjoying a luxurious training camp just outside Burton[1] ahead of Euro 2020.

They are in isolation at St George’s Park, in Needwood, preparing to kick off their tournament against Croatia on Sunday, June 13.

But they have everything they need in their covid bubble, with the complex’s training pitches complemented by a lush Hilton hotel.

It includes an indoor pool, a spa and the Crossbar bar, with a giant marquee being set up for press briefings.

But Southgate has made secret changes, keeping the details even from his backroom staff, The Mirror[2] reports.

With June forecast to be scorching, meals prepared by former chef to the Spice Girls Omar Meziane will be served outdoors to allow for a “social experience”.

Southgate said: “St George’s is an environment we are familiar with. We are hoping to change that a little bit so when the players walk through the door it is not quite as they have seen it before. I am looking forward to that.”

Hilton Hotel at St George's Park
Hilton Hotel at St George’s Park

England, who beat Romania 1-0 on Sunday with a Marcus Rashford penalty in their final friendly, will move from St George’s Park to The Lodge, Spurs’ hotel and training ground, after facing Scotland on June 18.

They play the Czech Republic on June 22.

Meanwhile, Wales head to Azerbaijan to take over four floors of a hotel.

The squad, led by skipper Gareth Bale, will have a marquee too where they can enjoy Welsh cakes and baked beans being trucked to Baku, the site of their first two games.

And they can unwind with PlayStation 5s, a darts board and ice baths.

All 228 bedrooms have been refurbished (Image: The Hilton)

For training sessions and matchdays, a lorry will carry an oxygen chamber for aiding recovery. Nutritional shakes and medical kit were also sent.

Bale is vegan, and bosses have catered accordingly. Scotland are staying at the five-star Rockliffe Hall in Darlington, which was England’s hotel for the friendlies.

As the tournament grips the home nations involved, the UK economy is set for a huge boost too.

Beer sales are expected to raise more than £700million for Covid-hit pubs, while those tuning in at home might enjoy the odd ale and burger.

Heineken, one of the tournament sponsors, expects 300,000 pints will be served at Wembley at England’s three group stage matches there.

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References

  1. ^ just outside Burton (www.staffordshire-live.co.uk)
  2. ^ The Mirror (www.mirror.co.uk)
  3. ^ here (www.staffordshire-live.co.uk)
  4. ^ here (e.staffordshire-live.co.uk)