Published: 13:25, 07 May 2009
by Julia Roberts
Five men involved in a plot to smuggle class A drugs across the Channel have been jailed for a total of 54 years.
Nicholas Chappell, 33, of New Hythe Lane, Larkfield, was sentenced to 18 years, Neil Hackett, also 33, of Midhurst Hill, Bexleyheath, received 11 years imprisonment and his brother, Jamie Hackett, 25, of Webb Court, Attlee Road, Thamesmead, south east London, was jailed for nine years.
David Manser, 26, of Lunsford Lane, Larkfield, and 28-year-old Giedrius Kavaliauskas, of South Farm Road, Worthing, Sussex, were each sentenced to eight years.
The men were arrested after cocaine worth up to £70,000 was landed on a beach in Hythe on March 27 last year.
A sixth man, Paul Proud, 47, from Lewisham, south east London, also denied the charge and was acquitted.
The court heard that Chappell and the Hacketts were the main organisers of the plot. Prosecutor Alan Kent QC said the trio used the rigid-hulled inflatable boat to bring the cocaine into the country from France.
Waiting on the shore at Princes Parade, near the Imperial Hotel, was the "manpower", including Manser and Kavaliauskas, to collect the drug.
A package containing just under a kilo of the drug at 85 per cent purity was smuggled. The boat was dismantled, put in a hired van and driven away by Manser.
The cocaine was loaded into a car and taken off ready for distribution to dealers.