jailed for smuggling cigs
THE ringleader of a gang
that used an airline's staff discounted travel to smuggle cigarettes
through UK airports has been jailed for 21 months.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) found that flight attendant Dennis
Connolly, 43, had organised over 130 smuggling trips, for himself
and 5 others, using airline staff discounts. The gang hid
cigarettes and tobacco worth £180,000 in evaded duty and taxes in
The 5 men and 1 woman from Warrington, Liverpool, St Helens and
Southport were sentenced at Manchester Crown Court on Wednesday, 1
October 2014, after pleading guilty at an earlier court hearing.
Sandra Smith, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC,
said:- "Airline employees hold a position of trust and abusing
such privileges in order to smuggle is a serious matter. Connolly
organised subsidised travel purely for smuggling purposes. There are
no excuses for smuggling, whatever your status.
Tobacco fraud costs honest taxpayers more than £2 billion a year,
undercutting honest businesses, and drawing people into wider
criminality. Anyone with information about illicit tobacco sales or
smuggling should contact the Customs' Hotline on:- 0800 59 5000."
The gang were caught out when three of them were stopped by Border
Force officers at Liverpool John Lennon Airport on 2 separate dates.
Terence Steele, 57, was stopped in November 2013 as he attempted to
pass through the Customs Green Channel with 20 kilos of hand rolling
tobacco (HRT) in his luggage, after a 1 day trip to Faro, Portugal.
Dale O'Brien, 36, and Paul Rigby, 44, both unemployed, were stopped
together at the same airport in April 2013, with 29 kilos of HRT in
their luggage, after an identical trip. An investigation by HMRC
linked the smuggling activities of the gang.
Connolly, Steele and Adele Jenkinson, 41, also an airline employee,
made large purchases of duty free tobacco in Spain and Portugal for
the gang to smuggle. Meanwhile, Barry Gwynn, 39, booked 12 smuggling
trips for himself and others using Jenkinson's airline staff
pain of facial neuralgia
LIVERPOOL'S St George's
Hall will be seen in a new light next week as it supports a group of
campaigners and sufferers, raising awareness of the facial
condition, trigeminal neuralgia.
On Tuesday, 7 October 2014, from dusk until 10pm, St George's Hall, will be
bathed in a steel blue coloured light, in support of an international
group which is trying to make as many people aware of this little
Trigeminal neuralgia (TN, or TGN), is a neuropathic disorder which
results in episodes of intense pain the face, originating from the
trigeminal nerve. Councillor Roz Gladden, cabinet member for Adult Social Care and
Health said:- "I am delighted that the City of Liverpool and
St George's Hall have got involved in raising awareness of this
Many people are unaware that trigeminal neuralgia exists and this is
an ideal way for TNNME, an international awareness group, to inform
people and hopefully gain support for more funding and research to
be given to those suffering from this condition. I hope the
support we offer today will go some way to ensuring their message is
Julie Carmichael from 'Trigeminal Neuralgia and me' (TNNME)
said:- "I am delighted that Liverpool City Council is
supporting our 'Light up Teal' day this year. It is vital that
we try and get as much information and support for those suffering
daily from this devastating condition."
St George's Hall will be 1 of many buildings across the world
taking part in the 2nd annual 'light up' campaign.
Buildings and bridges from China to Canada, Niagara to New York will
also be lit.
The University of Liverpool will light up its engineering building
and other landmarks in the UK getting involved include, The
Gateshead Millennium Bridge in Newcastle and Trafalgar Square
Trigeminal neuralgia has been described as among the most painful
conditions known to humankind and it is estimated that 1 in 15,000
people suffer from it, although the actual figure may be
significantly higher due to frequent misdiagnosis.
In the majority of cases, symptoms begin appearing more frequently
over the age of 50, although there have been instances where
patients as young as 3 years of age have been diagnosed. It is also
more common in females than males.