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Jail term cut for drug smuggling lorry driver Peter Horton
9:44am Friday 11th October 2013 in News
A YORK area lorry driver who smuggled heroin and cocaine worth more than £2.5 million into the UK in a shipment of spinach has had his sentence reduced.
Peter Horton, 45, was caught at Dover’s Eastern docks on June 12, 2012, on a journey from Belgium to Ashford in Kent.
Inside his lorry was 9.6kg of heroin at 63 per cent purity and 11.4kg of cocaine at up to 88 per cent purity, the Court of Appeal heard. Horton, of Springbank Avenue, Dunnington, was appealing against his 14-year sentence passed at Canterbury Crown Court for two offences of importing Class A drugs. He pleaded guilty.
Three appeal judges cut his sentence by two years to 12 years after his barrister Paul Humpherson argued that his role in the drugs chain was “key and necessary” rather than “significant”, which would have justified the higher sentence.
The court heard that as customs officers started searching his trailer loaded with spinach, he told them: “I might as well come clean. It was £2,000 for two packages – I’m a family man.”
He said he left his lorry doors open during a rest-stop so the contraband, which he thought was cigarettes, could be loaded.