Man denies role in Suffolk scrapyard cocaine factory

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.

Kevin Parr, 58, of Alexander Street, Harwich, denies conspiring to supply cocaine after undercover police swooped on farmland in Flowton, near Somersham, last year and seized cocaine with a street value of around £360,000.

The prosecution alleges Parr played a "key role" in the operation by holding 9kg of benzocaine at his home, which is used to "bulk out or cut" cocaine.

This reduces the strength and purity of the cocaine and increases the amount that can be sold, Andrew Jackson, prosecuting, told the jury.

Ipswich Crown Court heard yesterday how undercover officers were watching Christopher Southart on September 11, 2019, and saw him walking away from Parr's home address in Harwich.

Mr Jackson told the jury that Southart left Parr's home with an orange Sainsbury's carrier bag and drove away in a Range Rover.

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

Most Read

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

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 pre-written statement in police interview, Parr told police he was holding the benzocaine for an acquaintance but denied knowledge of what it was being used for.

Parr has pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis with intent.

Southart, 33, of Valley Road, Harwich, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply cocaine on January 17.

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

He pleaded guilty to permitting premises to be used for producing class A drugs at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday.

The trial, which is expected to last three days, continues.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter