News Criminal Defence 4th May 2017

Peter Lownds in Successful Sentencing Appeal for ‘Cocaine Pilot’

Peter Lownds successfully appealed the 19 year sentence for his client Andrew Wright after he pleaded guilty in 2016 to conspiracy to import £33.5m of cocaine.

Using his aerial photographer firm as a cover, Wright would collect the drugs at Kessel airport in Germany before flying back in his light-vessel plane to Breighton Airfield in Selby, North Yorkshire.

The drug smuggling ring was uncovered in November 2014 when border control found four bricks of cocaine in the boot of Wright’s Porsche Cayenne and a further 30 hidden in the tail section of his plane.

According to a Court of Appeal ruling though Wright’s role was “absolutely vital” to the operation, he had been “dealt with too harshly”.

In their written ruling Lord Justice Treacy, Mr Justice Holgate and Judge Griffiths-Jones said the sentencing judge did not “sufficiently reflect the differences” between Wright and his co-defendants, who were more heavily involved in the operation.

Following the appeal, Wrights’ sentence was cut to 16 years.

Peter was instructed by Luke Gittos at Hughmans.

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