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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 167

Date:- 11 September 2004

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LIVERPOOL CHANNEL DRUG SMUGGLERS JAILED

AS a result of detections made at the South East Cross Channel routes, three men from the Liverpool area have been sentenced to a total of 37 years imprisonment in respect of two cases, which concluded at Canterbury Crown Court today.

Speaking at the end of the trials, Customs Senior Operational Manager Paul Newman said:- 'Customs Officers in the South East have prevented a significant quantity of cocaine and ecstasy from reaching the streets of North West England. The ecstasy had an estimated street value of £363,600. The cocaine had an estimated street value of £680,000.

These cases underline our commitment to reducing the availability of Class A drugs on our streets.'

In the first case, Michael Hayes, 50, a plumber of Stevenson Street, Wavertree, Liverpool, was sentenced after pleading guilty to 12 years for attempting to import 25 kilos of ecstasy tablets. 

Hayes was intercepted at the Channel Tunnel controls in May 2004. The drugs were concealed in a specially adapted fuel tank in a Rover 420.

In a second case, Ian Painter, 49, of Fairview Close, Oxton, Birkenhead, unemployed, was found guilty of importing approximately 12 kilos of cocaine through Dover and was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment. Stephen Hamill, 36, a security guard, of Burtree Road, Huyton, Liverpool, pleaded guilty to the offence at an earlier hearing in March 2004, and was sentenced to 10 years.

BALLOON RACE BY COASTGUARDS A FLY AWAY SUCCESS

HUNDREDS of children from across the county entered the MCA Sea Smart balloon race on 4 September at the Liverpool Coast guard station open day. Five hundred balloons were released into the Liverpool sky over the course of the day. 
Organised by the Liverpool Coastguard team the balloon race was part of its Maritime and Coastguard Agency Sea Smart campaign, which promotes sea and beach safety to parents of young children to reduce the number of preventable accidents and deaths on our coastline every year.

They were raising awareness of the vital work they carry out following the results of recent research that showed nearly half of parents (49%) do not know that the Coastguard is an emergency service and like the Police, Fire Service and Ambulance can be called by dialling 999. 

Every child entering the race received a free Sea Smart goody bag. The overall winner will receive £100 WH Smith vouchers and a limited edition Sea Smart Teddy Bear, and two runners-up will receive also receive a bear. The closing date for race cards to be returned is 15 October when the winning balloon which has traveled the furthest will be announced.

REMEMBER... if you see some one in difficulty in the sea, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

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