Drugs Offences

Nick Barraclough has defended and prosecuted in serious and complex drugs cases, including operations involving undercover police and test-purchase officers, importations and large scale conspiracies, which have included the following:

  • R v Hussain 2012: (Operation Component) 5 defendants were charged with importing £5.5million of cannabis and ecstasy (‘Class A’ drugs) from Holland. Following a Serious Organised Crime Agency (‘SOCA’) surveillance operation, officers raided a warehouse in Barking, Essex, where they found a concrete block disguised as a crane counter-weight, which had been used to conceal the drugs. All 5 defendants were arrested. At Chelmsford Crown Court the prosecution described them as ‘big players in a major league drugs organisation’. Nick Barraclough’s client was acquitted. All other defendants were convicted.
  • R v Hannigan and others, 2010: Eight defendantsn were accused of importing £14 million of cocaine in this ten week trial at Manchester Crown Court that saw complex legal arguments about cell-site and telephone evidence, Dutch telephone intercept evidence, and undercover surveillance evidence. 404 witnesses provided statements. Nick Barraclough’s client was found not guilty. All other defendants were imprisoned for up to 26 years.
    Six jailed for importing cocaine from Germany, BBC News
  • R v Bowler and others, 2010: twelve defendants were accused of importing £62 million of cannabis into the UK as the result of a massive police operation. There were also linked money laundering allegations. Nick Barraclough represented a man who was originally charged conspiracy to supply cannabis. After negotiations with the prosecution the defendant admitted money laundering and was not imprisoned.
    Filthylucre: Drugs gang so rich it left £225,000 to rot in damp safe, by The Daily Mail
  • R v Sowerbutts and others, 2009, Ipswich Crown Court: A Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) prosecution in which Nick Barraclough was leading junior counsel representing a man allegedly involved in a conspiracy to import and ‘flood the United Kingdom’ with £7 million of cannabis. SOCA officers intercepted drugs consignments and planted probes to record suspects operating in an Essex warehouse. After three weeks of prosecution evidence Nick Barraclough persuaded the judge that the case against his client should be withdrawn from the jury. The client was found not guilty. Other defendants were convicted.
  • R v Paramasivan Represented a defendant alleged to ‘one of the largest drugs dealers in south London’ with Stephen Batten QC in a 2-month trial involving 60 kilos of cocaine, ‘millions’ of ecstasy tablets, and undercover police. It was said that the defendant ran a drugs syndicate and supplied small amounts of drugs by way of samples, but the defence successfully argued that no conviction could be founded on the evidence of supplying samples unless the jury were sure the defendant was involved in a larger scale drugs conspiracy. The defendant was then acquitted.
  • R v Flourentzou 4-month trial involving a drugs ‘super-grass’, an international drugs and crime syndicate, and allegations of conspiracy to supply multi-million pounds worth of heroin. This drugs syndicate was ruthless, chopping the fingers off a man who lost £1million of its heroin. The defendant was acquitted.
  • R v Presley and others Led by Simon Mayo QC in the prosecution of 14 defendants in a series of cases arising from a large-scale undercover police operation aimed at the Oxfordshire drugs trade. All defendants were convicted, including those involved in ‘fencing’ goods stolen by drugs addicts (including the ex Mayor of Didcot).
  • R v White and others The defendants were involved in the large scale supply of drugs from Essex to Norfolk, using a fishing bait factory for cover. This substantial police operation involved surveillance, probe evidence, and a police raid at the point of handover. The trial lasted seven weeks and raised issues as to the lawfulness of the police operation and the admissibility of probe evidence.