Drugs trial latest: Grantham man on £1,600-a-month benefits would not have risked family for £150 drug deal, jury hears

Lincoln Crown Court.

Lincoln Crown Court.

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A Grantham man would not have risked throwing his family life into turmoil by willingly taking part in a drug deal for just £150, a jury has been told.

Jamie Darby, 39, is one of five men on trial at Lincoln Crown Court who deny involvement in a Grantham-based drugs conspiracy.

It is alleged a gang headed up by Grantham man Jonathan Ferry was involved with other organised crime groups from Nottinghamshire and Manchester in the supply of illicit drugs.

Another one of the five defendants, Stuart Frazier, has told the jury Darby agreed to be paid £150 for a quantity of cocaine to be divided up into one ounce cubes at his Grantham home.

Frazier denied a suggestion from Michael Cranmer-Brown, defending Darby, that any agreement by his client to take part in the transaction was “completely fabricated”.

But addressing the jury in his closing speech, Mr Cranmer-Brown told the jury the fact that Mr Darby had previously done some driving for Frazier did not make him guilty.

“The motive ascribed to Mr Darby is that he did it for money,” Mr Cranmer-Brown said.

“In his first interview Mr Darby was asked about his financial situation. In relation to his income he set out the various forms of income he got from the Government in benefits.

“If you add it up it comes to £1,600 a month. His rent is paid, his council tax is paid. Would he take the risk of throwing his children’s lives into turmoil for just £150, a tenth of that sum?

“I invite you to say not.”

Mr Cranmer-Brown said the prosecution were asking the jury to rely on Frazier as a witness of truth “when it suited them”.

“You may think he (Frazier) remains angry that Mr Darby did not take the wrap for what happened,” Mr Cranmer-Brown added.

The jury are expected to retire to consider their verdicts later this week after the trial judge, Judge John Pini QC, completes summing up all the evidence in the case.

Five men are on trial accused of involvement in the supply of drugs. They are James Straw, 50, of Petersmith Drive, New Ollerton, Newark; Stuart Frazier, 54, of Princess Drive, Grantham; Jamie Darby, 39, of Princess Drive, Grantham; Anthony Morton, 27, of Tamar Court, Grantham; and Adam Gill, 29, of South Parade, Grantham; all deny charges of conspiracy to supply drugs between January 1 and October 23, 2014.

The jury has been told that eight men and one woman have admitted charges of conspiracy to supply drugs between the same dates. They are Jonathan Paul Ferry, 46, of Larch Close, Grantham; Paul Hull, 47, of Grantley Street, Grantham; Adam Higgs, 24, of Shaw Road, Grantham; Ashley Toulson, 27, of Edward Street, Grantham; Tyrone Sly, 45, of Bye Path Road, Retford; Ryan Anderson, 30, of Walmer Street, Gorton, Manchester; Martin Cooper, 30, formerly of Grantham; Francesca Moynihan, 22, of Hawthorn Drive, Salford; and Luke Smith, 30, of Goulden Street, Salford.

The trial continues.