| 10.1°C Dublin

major haul Former police inspector sentenced for plot to smuggle £2m worth of drugs into Northern Ireland

Brown had previously claimed he was duped into driving the van by haulier boss Lawrence Phee

Close

David Brown claimed he had no knowledge of the drugs he was transporting

David Brown claimed he had no knowledge of the drugs he was transporting

David Brown claimed he had no knowledge of the drugs he was transporting

A former police inspector and his co-conspirator have been jailed after being caught trying to smuggle £600,000 worth of drugs into Northern Ireland as part of a wider £2m drugs operation.

David Brown (51) and Patrick Hattie (52) were caught after the van was stopped at port of Cairnryan to Ulster in December 2018.

Brown was stopped by authorities at the port before boarding the ferry. A trained dog detected the drugs in the van he was driving after the police became suspicious.

Cocaine and cannabis were seized in the van which was transporting a large fuel tank.

When authorities searched the tank they found four kilos of cocaine, 23 kilos of herbal cannabis, and 5,072 bars of cannabis resin, all of which was worth around £600,000.

Close

An officer who had knowledge of the machine became suspicious over an alteration made to the equipment

An officer who had knowledge of the machine became suspicious over an alteration made to the equipment

An officer who had knowledge of the machine became suspicious over an alteration made to the equipment

Brown, from Carfin, North Lanarkshire, is a former inspector for the British Transport Police, and claimed he was duped into transporting the drugs by Lanarkshire haulier boss Lawrence Phee, who was jailed for eight-and-a-half years in 2020 after pleading guilty to drugs charges.

Brown was sentenced to six-and-a-half years for the supply of drugs, while Hattie, from Airdrie in Lanarkshire, received five-and-a-half years.

Prosecutors in the case said the find was part of a larger £2 million drugs running operation which saw drugs being imported from Spain into Scotland hidden inside various items of machinery before being split into smaller consignments, some of which were sent to Northern Ireland and others to the Republic of Ireland with the rest being sent to other areas in the UK.

Close

Brown claimed he had no knowledge of the drugs found in the truck

Brown claimed he had no knowledge of the drugs found in the truck

Brown claimed he had no knowledge of the drugs found in the truck

When sentencing the men at Glasgow High Court, 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."

He added: "Mr Hattie was the facilitator.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

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

Close

Both herbal cannabis and cannabis resin were discovered

Both herbal cannabis and cannabis resin were discovered

Both herbal cannabis and cannabis resin were discovered

During the trial, Brown argued that he had been duped into smuggling the drugs.

He claimed that he had been offered work at short notice driving one of Phee's hired vans to Ireland and that the van had been loaded by a relative of Phee at a loading yard in Shotts, North Lanarkshire.

It was also heard how Brown, who had been commended at one stage for his work in the British Transport Police, had previously been jailed for fraud while working in the police force.

Defending Brown, Tony Graham QC 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."

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Top Videos





Privacy