Two jailed for conspiracy to supply cocaine

Carl Walker from Benington and Paul Parsons from Ware pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine

Carl Walker (left) from Benington and Paul Parsons from Ware pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine - Credit: Herts police

Two men involved in a conspiracy to supply cocaine in Hertfordshire and the surrounding area have been sentenced at St Albans Crown Court today.

Carl Walker, 47, of Blacksmiths Hill in Benington, was jailed for seven years and three months, while 48-year-old Paul Parsons, of Francis Road, Ware, was sentenced to six years and six months.

The pair were recruited by a man higher up the chain when the police arrested others at the end of October 2019.

Prosecutor Simon Wilshire told the court that they were working for Philip Blackburn, who was jailed last year for 10 years and two months.

He said: “Mr Walker stored, prepared and distributed cocaine on behalf of Mr Blackburn. Mr Parsons played an active role, but was subordinate to Mr Walker.”

They were arrested in the garden of Walker’s girlfriend’s address in Hertford on February 13 last year.

Over a kilo of cocaine was found in a shed along with a hydraulic press. An encrypted phone was also recovered.

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If split into street deals, the drugs were valued at between £23,000 and £35,000.

Fifty-five kilos of cutting agents and 4.5 kilos of skunk cannabis in 10 packages were discovered in Parsons’ loft.

Walker and Parsons appeared for sentence having pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine and conspiracy to supply cannabis.

Walker had 18 convictions for 43 offences. Parsons seven convictions for 15 offences.

Daniel Murray for Walker said: “He was providing the storage, but not doing the mixing.”

He said Walker had been in custody for 20 months and had not had any social visits after the first two weeks because of COVID restrictions.

Mr Murray said Walker was “deeply ashamed” of what he had done. He said he had helped others both inside and outside prison.

Andrew Copeland, for Parsons, said he had worked as a delivery driver for Ocado and Asda. “He became involved through his own cocaine addiction and would receive cocaine for his own involvement,” he said.

Mr Copeland said Parsons had not stored class A drugs, only cannabis and the cutting agent. “He was the driver for Mr Walker and had no trappings of a rich lifestyle,” he said.

Judge Philip Grey told them they were involved in a “substantial and sophisticated” operation, and that drug dealing attracts long sentences because addiction causes a “trail of misery” and “wrecks lives".