Mobile phone messages link defendants to drugs, says prosecution

A jury has been shown mobile phone records that show communication between a Stanton Hill couple about drugs during prosecution evidence for a major drugs trial.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 10th July 2014, 6:00 am

Text messages and instant messages were sent and received by a mobile belonging to Catherine Harpham (24) to and from her boyfriend Michael Lawrence (24), both of Victoria Street, Stanton Hill.

Harpham denies possessing cocaine and cannabis with intent to supply while Lawrence admits both charges.

A series of messages recovered from Harpham’s phone seem to refer to both the class A and class B drug - with sniff and weed among the terms used - both in communication with her partner and with other contacts, some of whom were enquiring about getting hold of the substances.

The couple are implicated in a major drugs production and supply trial being heard at Nottingham Crown Court after they were watched by police in a village near Hull in November 2013, as another defendant, Paul Critchlow, dropped a black holdall through the window of Lawrence’s car.

When they were stopped, the bag was found to contain three blocks of near-pure cocaine with a street value of £600,000.

The court has also been told that officers also found cannabis being hung up to dry in their house as well as other materials associated with drug dealing such as scales, dealers’ lists and bags used to bag up quantities of drugs.

The other defendants on trial are Daniel Robinson (30), of Paling Crescent, Sutton, who denies producing amphetamine and supplying cocaine, but admits supplying amphetamine and Craig Donnelly (23), of Peel Street, Sutton, who faces the same charges and entered the same pleas.

They were both arrested at the Protein Masters shop on King Street in Sutton during a police raid last July.

Anthony Donnelly (31), of Southwell Road West, Mansfield, denies both producing and supplying amphetamine; Richard Tryner (45) of High Street, South Normanton, denies supplying amphetamine, while three other defendants from Hull and Liverpool deny charges against them.

Those due to appear for sentencing at a later date includes Ben Mullins (33), of Market Street, South Normanton, who admits producing and supplying amphetamine, and supplying cocaine; Andrew Brimble (48), of Staffa Drive, Tibshelf, who admits supplying amphetamine; and Richie Fido (29), of no fixed address, who admits producing and supplying amphetamine.

Two other defendants from Manchester and Nottingham will also appear at a later date for sentencing on similar charges.

In Harpham’s defence it was pointed out that though contact with some of the other defendants had been made from her mobile phone, other than Lawrence’s number, the only other number saved in her phone was that of Craig Donnelly, who is her cousin.

The trial continues.

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