child's play | 

Drug dealer found hiding in kids playhouse sentenced after he was caught with €5.3 million worth of coke

Robert Stewart (32) was followed by officers as part of a covert operation
Robert Stewart

Robert Stewart

Clodagh MeaneySunday World

A cocaine dealer found hiding in a kids playhouse has been given seven-and-a-half years behind bars.

Robert Stewart (32) from Orpington was handed down the sentence after officers caught him with cocaine with an estimated street value of €5.3 million (£4.5 million) in his possession.

Stewart was arrested on Saturday, April 23rd after officers from the National Crime Agency secretly surveilled him as he left Luton airport.

As officers moved in to arrest him in Luton Road, Harpenden, he attempted to flee, jumping over a fence at the rear of a pub car park and throwing the keys to his van into a nearby bush.

The NCA called in backup from Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire police forces, as well as a police helicopter.

He was found hiding in a child’s playhouse in a nearby garden a short time later.

Officers found 57 kilos of cocaine, stuffed into bags in the back of the van.

A search also revealed two empty purpose-built and hydraulically operated hides.

Stewart was charged with possession with intent to supply class A drugs. He pleaded guilty to the offence at a hearing at Luton Crown Court on 23 May.

“Stewart was arrested as part of a proactive NCA investigation targeting class A drug supply. He was found in possession of a significant quantity of cocaine, with an estimated value of £4.5 million,” NCA Branch Operations Manager Adam Berry said in a statement.

“I’ve no doubt that had he not been stopped those drugs would have ended on the streets of southeast England, in the hands of gangs who bring violence and exploitation to our communities.”


Today's Headlines

More World Crime

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