Man denies playing instrumental role in Suffolk scrapyard drug operation

Ipswich Crown Court Picture: ARCHANT

Ipswich Crown Court Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: ARCHANT

A man has denied playing an “instrumental role” in a large-scale cocaine operation at a Suffolk scrapyard by keeping a drug used as a cutting agent at his home.

Giving evidence at Ipswich Crown Court, Kevin Parr said he had been asked by a man called Christopher Southart to look after a large quantity of cannabis at his Harwich home and had later been given two bin liners to look after.

Parr said he didn't know what was in the bin liners and denied that he had deliberately involved himself in a large-scale drug operation.

Parr, 58, of Alexander Street, Harwich, denies conspiring to supply cocaine.

The court has heard that undercover police officers swooped on farmland in Flowton, near Somersham, last year and seized cocaine with a street value of around £360,000.

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Andrew Jackson, prosecuting, has alleged that Parr played a "key role" in the operation by holding 9kg of benzocaine, which is used to "bulk out or cut" cocaine, at his home.

Undercover officers who were watching Christopher Southart on September 11, 2019, saw him walking away from Parr's home address in Harwich with an orange Sainsbury's carrier bag and saw him drive away in a Range Rover.

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He was followed to the Camperdown Pit scrapyard, owned by Paul Fenton, and was seen entering a large shipping container at the site.

Undercover officers from the cyber, intelligence and serious organised crime directorate then swooped, arresting both Southart and Fenton, said Mr Jackson.

Following the discovery of 2.2kg of cocaine at the "drugs factory", police then went to Parr's home and discovered around £6,000 worth of cannabis along with the benzocaine in a cupboard at his home.

Holding the benzocaine was "of fundamental importance" to the operation, and showed he was "highly trusted" by Southart, Mr Jackson added.

In a written statement Parr told police he was holding the benzocaine for an acquaintance but denied knowing what it was going to be used for.

Parr has pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis with intent to supply.

Southart, 33, of Valley Road, Harwich, has pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply cocaine.

Fenton, 54, of Gaell Crescent, Hadleigh, has also admitted his role by allowing his scrapyard to be used.

He has pleaded guilty to permitting premises to be used for producing class A drugs

The trial continues.

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