Driving himself into jail
Drug smuggler injured customs officer in clumsy getaway
A BLUNDERING drug runner who was caught with 60kg of cannabis wrapped in cling film hit a woman customs officer and sped away in his van, a court heard last week.
Peter Casey of Summerhouse Lane from Harmondsworth was part of a ‘sophisticated’ plot to bring cannabis resin with a street value of more than a quarter of a million pounds into the UK from France.
But the 45-year-old’s illicit cargo was discovered during a search at Newhaven, East Sussex, on October 8, 2014.
Casey was returning to the UK from Dieppe, France, when customs officers searched his Peugeot van and uncovered a large stash of drugs wrapped in pink cling film in a carefully adapted part of the vehicle.
The panicking driver managed to snatch back his confiscated keys, jump into the vehicle and accelerate away – striking a woman customs officer on his way and injuring her shoulder.
As he raced away from the port the wrong way around a one-way system with the back doors hanging open, he drove into and damaged a number of other cars. One valiant driver tried and failed to halt his getaway by pulling in front of him, Guildford Crown Court heard.
The van was dumped – and has never been recovered – and the drugs HILLINGDON Choral Society is teaming up with Hillingdon Philharmonic Orchestra for a concert to celebrate their 30th anniversary.
The concert entitled A Celebration of Christmas takes place at Vyners School in Warren Road, Ickenham, on Saturday were hidden in bushes in the area.
Casey and his three codefendants were arrested the following day on the M25, but brazenly returned to search for the drugs and recover them – all while on police bail.
Mark Brydges, 48, of Cotswold Drive, Stevenage, Herts, was said to have planned the operation along with his 38-year-old friend Dean Ripley from Western Avenue, Egham.
The other gang member was Martin Aylott, 43, of Waltham Avenue, Hayes.
The four men were collectively jailed for a total of 17 years and six months for the conspiracy to supply and import the class B drug.
Judge Peter Moss said: “I take the view that Mr Brydges was the leading light and Mr Ripley was his trusted senior officer in this particular conspiracy.
“I think Mr Casey knew from the outset what he was involved in.
“You really fall into two December 12, 7.30pm.
There will be music by Vivaldi, Handel, Tchaikovsky and well known Christmas carols.
Tickets are £12 for adults and £3 children and can be bought on the door or from Pro Music Ickenham shop in Swakeleys Road. groups – Brydges and Ripley in one and Aylott and Casey in another.
“From the outset I make it plain that each of you knowingly played into the conspiracy to import drugs.”
Archie Mackay, defending Casey, said his client had been ‘financially desperate’ when he made the ‘awful decision’ to smuggling drugs internationally.
Speaking after the sentence Detective Constable Harry Robberts, who was commended by the judge for his work in the investigation, said: “Illegal drugs have absolutely no place in our communities and can only cause criminal activity to thrive. I hope this reassures the public that we take serious action when it comes to those intent on destroying our communities.”
n Mark Brydges, from Stevenage
n Peter Casey, from Harmondsworth
n Dean Ripley, from Egham
n Martin Aylott, from Hayes