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Isle of Wight fishermen's drug smuggling 'simply impossible' Isle of Wight fishermen's drug smuggling 'simply impossible'
(about 1 hour later)
From top-left: Daniel Payne, Zoran Dresic, Jonathan Beere, Scott Birtwistle, Jamie GreenFrom top-left: Daniel Payne, Zoran Dresic, Jonathan Beere, Scott Birtwistle, Jamie Green
It was "simply impossible" for two fishermen, convicted of smuggling cocaine off the Isle of Wight, to have collected the drugs from the sea, the Court of Appeal has heard.It was "simply impossible" for two fishermen, convicted of smuggling cocaine off the Isle of Wight, to have collected the drugs from the sea, the Court of Appeal has heard.
Jonathan Beere, 51, and Daniel Payne, 46, were jailed for 24 and 18 years respectively for conspiracy to import drugs worth £53m in May 2010.Jonathan Beere, 51, and Daniel Payne, 46, were jailed for 24 and 18 years respectively for conspiracy to import drugs worth £53m in May 2010.
Their legal team told the court that new information "transforms" the case.Their legal team told the court that new information "transforms" the case.
Prosecutors maintain the convictions are still safe.Prosecutors maintain the convictions are still safe.
The men's trial in 2011 heard Payne and his three co-defendants collected the drugs in a fishing boat, the Galwad-Y-Mor, which was deposited in the English Channel by a container ship, Oriane, sailing from Brazil.The men's trial in 2011 heard Payne and his three co-defendants collected the drugs in a fishing boat, the Galwad-Y-Mor, which was deposited in the English Channel by a container ship, Oriane, sailing from Brazil.
Beere was said to have acted as a liaison between Jamie Green, the skipper of the Galwad who was also jailed for 24 years, and those organising the smuggling.Beere was said to have acted as a liaison between Jamie Green, the skipper of the Galwad who was also jailed for 24 years, and those organising the smuggling.
Police helicopter footage shows the white rope connecting the sacks of cocaine which had been dropped by the container shipPolice helicopter footage shows the white rope connecting the sacks of cocaine which had been dropped by the container ship
Jurors were told the Galwad crossed the path of the Oriane and then slowed down to collect the cocaine by "coopering", where goods are transferred from one vessel to another at sea.Jurors were told the Galwad crossed the path of the Oriane and then slowed down to collect the cocaine by "coopering", where goods are transferred from one vessel to another at sea.
Opening the appeal against the convictions of Beere and Payne, Joel Bennathan QC said new radar evidence, which "finally emerged" more than seven years after their trial in 2011, shows the Galwad "never crossed behind the Oriane".Opening the appeal against the convictions of Beere and Payne, Joel Bennathan QC said new radar evidence, which "finally emerged" more than seven years after their trial in 2011, shows the Galwad "never crossed behind the Oriane".
"As such, the idea of coopering in a very short time in quite high seas reduces from being difficult but conceivable to being simply impossible," he said."As such, the idea of coopering in a very short time in quite high seas reduces from being difficult but conceivable to being simply impossible," he said.
Mr Bennathan also said that "another suspect boat" had travelled near to where the cocaine was recovered shortly after the Galwad sailed nearby.Mr Bennathan also said that "another suspect boat" had travelled near to where the cocaine was recovered shortly after the Galwad sailed nearby.
He said the prosecution's failure to "examine and disclose" radar data about that vessel had prevented Beere and Payne mounting arguments "that might have led to different verdicts" at their trial.He said the prosecution's failure to "examine and disclose" radar data about that vessel had prevented Beere and Payne mounting arguments "that might have led to different verdicts" at their trial.
The container ship, Oriane had sailed from BrazilThe container ship, Oriane had sailed from Brazil
The hearing before Sir Julian Flaux, Mr Justice Andrew Baker and Mr Justice Calver is due to conclude later in the week. It is expected that their ruling will be reserved to a later date.The hearing before Sir Julian Flaux, Mr Justice Andrew Baker and Mr Justice Calver is due to conclude later in the week. It is expected that their ruling will be reserved to a later date.
Beere, Payne, Green, Scott Birtwistle and Zoran Dresic have always said they were on a "routine fishing trip" at the time police claim the crime took place.Beere, Payne, Green, Scott Birtwistle and Zoran Dresic have always said they were on a "routine fishing trip" at the time police claim the crime took place.
They were found guilty of conspiracy to import cocaine and given lengthy jail terms. Birtwistle was released in 2017 but the other four men remain in prison. They were found guilty of conspiracy to import cocaine and given lengthy jail terms. Birtwistle was released in 2017.