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Fens Cannabis Swoop Lands Gang In Prison

Four members of a gang that tried to smuggle £1.4m of cannabis resin from the Fens to the Midlands were jailed for a total of 24 years yesterday.

Members of the group, based in the Coventry area and around the Norfolk/Cambridgeshire border, had denied knowing about the drugs in the haul when Customs and Excise officers foiled their plot.

A Norwich Crown Court jury heard 402kg of cannabis with a street value of £1.4m was found when officers swooped on the Elm Hall Hotel at Wisbech. The stash was about to be taken to Coventry. The men were all at the hotel. They were rounded up immediately and questioned.

John Marshall, 54, and Dean Robinson, 44, both of Hollycroft Road, Emneth; Owen Delargy, 37, of Coventry and Christopher Bodinnar, 53, of Willenhall, Coventry, all denied conspiracy to supply cannabis resin between February 29, 2004 and February last year.

All four were found guilty following their trial while a further gang member, Matthew Marshall, 33, of Town Street, Upwell, near Wisbech, was acquitted of conspiracy to supply but found guilty of possessing cannabis with intent to supply between February 1 and 6 last year.

Judge Simon Barham said father-of two Robinson acted as the seller, Matthew Marshall allowed the drugs to be stored in his garage and Delargy was the buyer. John Marshall brought the drugs to the hotel for transfer to Coventry and Bodinaar was going to drive the drugs to Coventry.

Delargy, a boxing promoter, claimed he was collecting what he thought was rubbish and that Bodinaar was his driver.

Bodinaar said he knew nothing about drugs, while Matthew Marshall claimed he did not know the cannabis was in his garage.

Delargy and Robinson, were each sentenced to seven years in prison, while John Marshall and Bodinaar received five years.

Judge Barham said it was "by chance" that the men were all arrested at the hotel, and praised police officers Stephen Carter, Stephen Hamilton and Robert Foreman for their work in the case.

Matthew Marshall is due to be sentenced in three weeks.

Delargy had a stable of Midlands-based fighters including Common-wealth featherweight champion Jackson Asiku and English middleweight title-holder Steve Bendall.

It is understood both their futures have been left in doubt by their manager's sentencing.

In the weeks leading up the trial, Delargy was negotiating for Bendall to get a crack at the European title.

He trained his boxers in the gym he had built at a luxury farmhouse and had previously run a successful building contractor business. But his dealings led to him serving a jail term for fraud.

Delargy had eight professional fights in his 20s, between 1989 and 1994. He won three.

Bendall said he was "devastated" on hearing of Delargy's sentence, because he had played a key role in his boxing career.


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402kg of soap bar at..what £500 a key? I dunno,I don't touch the stuff.So it's worth what? Let's say £200k.

They say £1.4M.


Edited by dr rockster

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*ahem* remind me to read posts properly before replying

Edited by Orange

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Possibly it was hash (to cut down into soap in the UK)? Makes more sense to import less, lighter, stronger hash than more, heavier weaker hash.

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Possibly it was hash (to cut down into soap in the UK)? Makes more sense to import less, lighter, stronger hash than more, heavier weaker hash.


7 years for class c, unbelievable i bet they are wishing they had done class A - less to handle and more profits - and when they are giving out sentences like 7 years for soap bar one can see the attraction

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