Dad and son jailed for £14m drug haul

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Front Page - BY NEIL DOCK­ING neil.dock­ing@trin­i­tymir­ @Visiter

TH­ESE pic­tures re­veal a “mas­sive” £14m co­caine haul smug­gled in a lorry from Hol­land to Liver­pool un­der card­board pack­ag­ing.

Four men, in­clud­ing two from Skelmers­dale, were jailed on Tues­day for nearly 37 years in to­tal, af­ter po­lice dis­cov­ered the 84kg load when they raided an in­dus­trial unit in Speke.

More than £100,000 of heroin and £60,000 in cash was then seized at homes in Skelmers­dale, Leeds and St Al­bans.

Liver­pool Crown Court heard that covert of­fi­cers pho­tographed Skelmers­dale fa­ther and son Stephen and Bradley Kelly at the Spin­dus Road unit on Fe­bru­ary 2 this year.

The pair un­loaded co­caine from the lorry, then trans­ferred it in 1kg blocks to a van, which Steven drove to Tev­er­sham, Skelmers­dale, to meet couri­ers in five ve­hi­cles.

Th­ese in­cluded Damian Wool­er­ton and Ja­son Clarke, who was seen load­ing 8kg in trans­par­ent plas­tic crates into a van.

William Baker, pros­e­cut­ing, said a lorry ar­rived at the unit again at 5.05am on Fe­bru­ary 23, be­fore the Kellys came to un­load it.

He said: “It had been driven through the night from the Nether­lands with a cover load of card­board pack­ag­ing des­tined for Ire­land.”

But po­lice were wait­ing and stormed the unit, catch­ing the Kellys and the lorry driver with 84kg of 88% pure co­caine.

Stephen had an en­crypted mo­bile phone, which po­lice have never been able to ac­cess, be­cause the crook claimed he for­got the code.

When Bradley’s mum’s home in Tev­er­sham was searched, of­fi­cers re­trieved £52,940 from the loft and £1,980 in the hall, hid­den by Stephen.

A search of Stephen’s prop­erty in Charnock, Skelmers­dale, re­vealed around 1kg of 63% pure heroin, in two vac­u­umpacked brown pack­ages.

Po­lice raided Clarke’s home in Dell­field, St Al­bans, on March 6 and found more than 2kg of 86% pure co­caine, col­lected from Stephen.

They searched Wool­er­ton’s prop­erty in Ivy Cres­cent, Leeds, on March 7 and seized a 1kg block of 73% pure co­caine, plus 126g of co­caine in a tin. He also had nearly 1kg of heroin in his home.

All four men made no com­ment when in­ter­viewed by po­lice.

Co­caine user Stephen, 55, ad­mit­ted con­spir­a­cies to im­port and sup­ply co­caine, and pos­ses­sion with in­tent to sup­ply heroin.

John Har­ri­son, de­fend­ing, said the grandad had two fam­i­lies, in­clud­ing two young daugh­ters, but had £86,000 of loan debts.

Bradley Kelly, 35, for­merly of Tev­er­sham, Skelmers­dale, now of Ver­non Way, in Bloxwich, Wal­sall, ad­mit­ted con­spir­acy to im­port co­caine.

Ju­lian Nut­ter, de­fend­ing, said the plas­terer had a son with his girl­friend, but they lost their home be­cause of his ar­rest.

Ex-drug ad­dict and dad-of-three Wool­er­ton, 44, ad­mit­ted con­spir­acy to sup­ply co­caine and pos­ses­sion with in­tent to sup­ply heroin.

For­mer NHS worker Clarke, 49, ad­mit­ted con­spir­acy to sup­ply co­caine.

Recorder Stephen Riordan, QC, jailed Stephen for 13 and a half years; Bradley for nine years and four months; Wool­er­ton for eight years; and Clarke for six years.

Det Insp Nick Hughes, from the North West Re­gional Or­gan­ised Crime Unit, said: ““I’m re­ally pleased that th­ese dan­ger­ous in­di­vid­u­als have been taken off our streets, along with a mas­sive amount of co­caine that could have had deadly con­se­quences if brought into cir­cu­la­tion.”

Skelmers­dale men Stephen Kelly, 55, top, and his son, Bradley, 35, have been jailed

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