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Members of 'Freshwater Five' lose appeal

(Posted on 25/03/21)

Members of 'Freshwater Five' lose appeal

Two members of the Freshwater Five convicted more than a decade ago of attempting to smuggle £53m of cocaine into the UK have lost an appeal against their convictions.

Jonathan Beere, 51, and Daniel Payne, 46, who were jailed for 24 and 18 years respectively for conspiracy to import 250kg of cocaine, had presented new evidence to the court said to show it was “simply impossible” for the men to have collected the drugs.

But in a judgment handed down on today, three appeal court judges ruled that the men’s appeal failed on all grounds.

The judgment concluded: “Standing back and looking at all the evidence available at trial as well as the evidence now available, while the evidence is circumstantial, this was as the CCRC [Criminal Cases Review Commission] concluded a ‘compelling prosecution case of conspiracy to import cocaine’.

In a statement the families said it was a "bitter and dark day"

"The war isn't over and you haven't heard the last of us yet. Once the dust has settled we will be back fighting for this horrific miscarriage of justice to be overturned and making sure the public knows the full story of not just what happened here, but of the efforts that have been made to cover it up."