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A BUSI­NESS­MAN who got sucked into a £1.5m co­caine sup­ply net­work has had his tough sen­tence backed by se­nior judges.

Christo­pher Wal­lace, 37, played a “sig­nif­i­cant” role in the plot to chan­nel high-grade co­caine from Manch­ester to af­flu­ent Buck­ing­hamshire.

He was ar­rested fol­low­ing an ex­ten­sive un­der­cover po­lice probe when he fer­ried half a kilo­gram of co­caine to Bea­cons­field.

Wal­lace said he was ‘bul­lied and pres­sured’ into play­ing his part by the gang’s boss, Bran­don Tem­ple, with whom he had been in­volved in a prop­erty restora­tion ven­ture.

But Mrs Jus­tice An­drews told Lon­don’s Ap­peal Court that, what­ever pres­sure he was un­der, pros­e­cu­tors had la­belled him Tem­ple’s ‘right-hand man’.

He helped to main­tain im­por­tant con­tacts and to ‘set up deals’, the court heard.

Wal­lace, of, Calde­cott Road, Black­ley, Manch­ester, was jailed for nine years at Manch­ester Crown Court last Oc­to­ber af­ter ad­mit­ting con­spir­acy to sup­ply co­caine.

Seven oth­ers were sen­tenced for their parts in the con­spir­acy – in­clud­ing Tem­ple, who re­ceived a 10-year stretch.

Another of those locked up was Marc Hay­den, of Heys Av­enue, Swin­ton, who was sen­tenced to three years nine months and also ap­pealed.

The 31-year-old was some way down the chain of com­mand, the court heard, act­ing mainly as a courier.

It was Hay­den who fer­ried a half-kilo stash of co­caine down to Bea­cons­field for a ‘test run pur­chase’ by a prospec­tive buyer.

But, un­hap­pily for him, the ‘buyer’ turned out to be an un­der­cover cop.

The gang was fi­nally rolled up when they sup­plied another five-kilo con­sign­ment to the de­tec­tive.

If pro­cessed and ‘ bashed down’, the to­tal haul of co­caine could have been worth around £1.5m on the streets.

Both Wal­lace and Hay­den chal­lenged their sen­tences, claim­ing they were far too tough.

Hay­den claimed he re­ceived in­suf­fi­cient credit for his guilty plea, while Wal­lace claimed the im­por­tance of his role was ex­ag­ger­ated.

But Mrs Jus­tice An­drews, sit­ting with Lord Jus­tice Treacy and Judge Eleri Rees QC, said it was ‘ap­pro­pri­ate to re­gard him as play­ing a sig­nif­i­cant role’.

Hay­den’s pun­ish­ment was also nei­ther wrong in prin­ci­ple, nor ex­ces­sive.

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