Trial of ‘cocaine gang’ to last four months

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The case of 27 suspected cocaine dealers from across Northampton, Cambridgeshire and Hampshire could take three trials and four months of court time to conclude, a judge has warned.

The 25 men and two women, aged between 22 and 54, appeared before Northampton Crown Court last week charged with running an alleged cocaine ring, stretching from Northampton to Southampton. The defendants, who include 15 people from Northamptonshire, appeared in four blocks on Thursday afternoon, because they could not fit in the dock together.

Four people – Steven Payne, 44, of Weedon Road, Nether Heyford, Thomas O’Brien, 29, of Bugbrooke Road, Kislingbury, Adrian Dowling, 47, of Stowe Walk, Parklands, Northampton, and Jane Calloway, 53, of Northam Road, Southampton – pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring to supply class A drugs. The remaining defendants did not enter pleas.

They are charged with an organised conspiracy to supply class A drugs in Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire and Hampshire between January 2010 and April 2012. They were allegedly involved in a plot to supply 52 kilos of cocaine, with a wholesale value of almost £2.5 million, at £45,000 per kilo.

Prosecuting, Claire Howell, warned the case may have to be heard in three separate trials, potentially taking up 16 weeks of court time and not reaching a conclusion until next April. They will return to court in June.

The 27 suspects, including 25 men and two women, are:

Joseph O’Neill, 35, Brockton Street, Kingsthorpe;

Steven Payne, 44, of Weedon Road, Nether Heyford;

Adrian Dowling, 47, of Stowe Walk, Northampton;

Sean Byrne, 47, of Queens Road, Northampton

Daniel Shrubb, Henry Bird Way, Southbridge;

John Monteith, 26, of Wallbeck Close, Kingsthorpe;

Abdul Khan, 24, of Cowper Street, Northampton;

Michael Wilson, 28, of no fixed address;

Matthew McLeod, 22, of Poplar Road, Kettering;

Thomas O’Brien, 30, of Bugbrooke Road, Kislingbury;

Barry Toghill, 27, of Morley Walk, Corby;

Christopher Jones, 25, of West Cotton Close, Far Cotton;

Micha Walfall, 29, of Leys Road, Pattishall;

Kevin Leighton, 34, of Hornby Road, Earls Barton;

Daniel Beasley, 30, of The Square, Earls Barton;

Trevor Hill, 30, of Lowick Court, Moulton Leys;

Benjamin Ukaegbu, 31, of no fixed address;

Thomas Goff, 29, of Northam Road, Southampton;

Daniel Taylor, 29, of Dakota Way, Eastleigh, Hampshire;

Mark Sims, 49, of St Catherine’s Road, Southampton;

Daryl Sims, 29, The Gardens, Bishop Waltham, Southampton;

Paul Hatcher, 32, of Lockerley Crescent, Southampton;

Charmaine Calloway, 40, of Evenlode Road, Southampton;

Jane Calloway, 54, of Northam Road, Southampton;

Craig Cummerson, 28, of Quayside Road, Southampton;

Cyrus Kazak, 48, of Woodpecker Way, Waterbeach, Cambridge.