UK: Driver who imported cannabis worth £127k jailed

A man who imported £127,000 of cannabis to the Isle of Man hidden in a secret compartment in a car has been jailed for three years and two months.

Kyle Badley, of Alexandra Drive in Birkenhead, was stopped by customs officers after driving off the ferry on 22 April.

Sniffer dogs detected the drugs under the driver’s seat and he was arrested.

Deemster Graeme Cook said the 38-year-old was “simply a mule” but a deterrent sentence was needed.

The court heard Badley had arrived from Liverpool in a black Mercedes at about 19:15 BST.

When questioned about the reason for his trip he said he was visiting his girlfriend but it later transpired he had no ties to the island.

A search found the hidden compartment, which was operated by a switch within the car, containing 26 bags of cannabis sealed with yellow tape.

‘Massive gamble’

The court heard the car was not registered in Badley’s name, but he had been insured to drive it between 22 April and his planned return date three days later.

Prosecutors accepted he was “unlikely to be high up” in an organised criminal gang as he had been used as a driver, but said he must have been aware there were drugs in the car.

His defence advocate said he had been “foolish and stupid” and had “taken a massive gamble” for financial gain.

“He’s a grown man, he knows he’s going to have to take what’s coming to him,” he added.

He pleaded guilty to importing cannabis to the island and possessing the drug with intent to supply.

Deemter Cook said large amounts of the drug seemed to be appearing on the island on a regular basis and the only way to combat the illegal trade was to punish people with jail sentences.

He also banned Badley from visiting the island for five years after his release.

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