Manchester Man Jailed For Million Pound Drug Plot

3 May 2011, 18:33 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

A Manchester pub landlord who brought £3.5 million worth of cocaine into the UK has been locked up for 20 years.

14kg of the drug were smuggled into Mona airfield on Anglesey, North Wales, from Le Touquet in northern France in July 2009 in a private plane owned by David Watson, 54, from Prestwich, Manchester.

He said Watson was the principal organiser behind the plan, adding, "You were always in the background controlling matters at a distance.''

However, the jury accepted McArthur did not know the package contained cocaine and that he thought he was smuggling cannabis.

Previously the court was told that Watson, who owns The Plough pub in Prestwich, had a "net worth'' of £980,000.

The court was told he was a property developer who had built up a significant ``property portfolio'' over the past 30 years.

Cahillane, who pleaded guilty to conspiring to smuggle class A drugs, was sentenced to 16 years and was sentenced on the basis that he was an "organiser'' and helped to set up meetings between Watson's organised crime group and an unidentified drug dealer in Spain. He was also sentenced to three months for possession of a stun gun.

McArthur was sentenced to a total of six years in jail after he also pleaded guilty to a separate charge of trying to smuggle cannabis in a car through the Channel Tunnel in May 2010.

Lockwood's sentencing hearing was adjourned until June 13.