Drug smugglers’ Corby plane plot sentence delayed

Air Field: Deenethorpe: Deenthorpe Air Field   'Thursday 2nd August 2012
Air Field: Deenethorpe: Deenthorpe Air Field 'Thursday 2nd August 2012

The sentencing of five men for their part in a plot to smuggle £1.7m of cocaine on to Corby’s drugs market has been delayed.

The defendants, who have all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import class A drugs, appeared before Northampton Crown Court, expecting to be sentenced.

But James McGlone, 30, of Occupation Road, Corby; Christopher McGlone, 27, also of Occupation Road; Adel Chouhaib, 33, of Lingfield Walk, Corby; Richard Sweeney Murray, 49, of Greenhill Rise, Corby; and Abdelilah Hilali, 34, from Marsham Road, London were told that their case could not go ahead.

Representing Chouhaib, barrister Rupert Gregory said that the role his client played in the crime was not agreed, and denied that he was the ringleader. He said that he would need to outline his precise function in the plot before it would be fair to sentence him.

As his sentence would have an effect on those of the rest of the defendants, none of them could be sentenced either.

The men were arrested on Sunday, June 26, 2011 after police rumbled their plot to import five kilogrammes of cocaine from Amsterdam by courier to Abbeville, France. It was then flown into former World War Two American airbase Deenethorpe Airfield near Corby by a sixth man, Wayne Burgess, 35, from Westfields Road, Corby.

Burgess has also pleaded guilty to the offence but did not appear in court yesterday for medical reasons.

All the men were also charged with intent to supply cocaine, which they denied, and police will now let this charge lie on file.

After being told that it would now be months before all the men’s legal representatives were available at the same time, Chouhaib had a change of heart and agreed to be sentenced yesterday.

But Judge Lynn Tayton QC said she had concerns about Chouhaib’s sudden change of mind and said they could all be sentenced together following a special hearing to decide all of their roles in the plot at the end of October.

Chouhaib is already serving a prison sentence for running a drugs house in Grendon Avenue, Corby.

In a separate hearing, Murray also pleaded guilty to two more dishonesty offences. He admitted claiming a supplementary allowance to increase his war pension between 1999 and 2011. He had told the administrators of the pension, the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency, that he was disabled when in fact he was working.