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Saturday, 25 October 2014

Police found cocaine den in quiet village

A HEATING engineer from Mickley is standing trial at Newcastle Crown Court, accused of allowing his property to be used to cut and pack cocaine.

Timothy Alsop (43), of North View, has pleaded not guilty to conspiring to supply the class A drug, with an estimated street value of between £2,500 and £5,000.

Jurors were told this week the defendant's rented home was used to prepare the substance for sale, the prosecution arguing that, even though he was not there at the time, he must have been aware of what was happening.

Alsop, who runs Arcadia Plumbing and Heating, however, claims he had not allowed anyone access to the property and would have no reason to get involved in the sale of drugs.

The case centres on May 9, when police observed several men meeting up and driving to North View, arriving at around 6.15pm.

Although officers did not see the men enter Alsop's home, they witnessed them emerge just over an hour later and stopped their vehicle almost immediately after they set off.

One was found to be carrying a total of 258 small bags of cocaine, at 17 per cent purity, worth around £10 to £20 each.

A search of the property also uncovered scales, masses of plastic bags, glucose powder and lactose, commonly used to cut drugs.

When Alsop arrived home later, he too was arrested and was interviewed by police.

Prosecuting, Christopher Knox said in his opening statement on Tuesday: “You wouldn't be going in to somebody's house without permission and doing something as sensitive and highly illegal as this.

“You wouldn't want anyone to interrupt what you were doing.

“We say Alsop is not an innocent whose house was used without his permission but was in effect privy to that.

“We are not suggesting he is a drugs baron, but he is a cog is this particular regime.”

Alsop, however, denies having any knowledge of the property being used for criminal activity.

The court heard he told police during interview: “Nobody would be able to make me do something like that.

“I wouldn't do it. I have got no reason to do it.

“I would get no financial gain out of it. I don't need the money.”

He admitted, however, he knew the men arrested at the house and said one had previously helped him move furniture into it, at which point he could have observed his usual habit of placing his front door key under a brick.

Alsop explained the fact he was carrying £1,480 at the time of his arrest on having just been paid for a job.

Two phone calls made to Alsop the previous day by one of the men arrested were likewise put down to the man “pestering” him to get him to fix his shower.

Alsop denied any knowledge of the bulk of the materials in the house.

However, he said the vitamin-enriched glucose was his, claiming: “I take vitamins because in my work sometimes you don't get a chance to eat.

“I drink the glucose with orange juice because those energy drink give me the shakes.”

The case continues.

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