Stephen Lawrence suspect jailed for drugs plot

BY CALUM FRASER
calum@slpmedia.co.uk

A suspect in the Stephen Lawrence murder case has been jailed for a £4million drugs plot. Jamie Acourt, 42, was one of a group of five men arrested as suspects after Plumstead boy Stephen was murdered in a racist attack near an Eltham bus stop in 1993.

Acourt was sentenced on Friday, November 6 at Kingston Crown Court to nine years for conspiracy to supply class B drugs.

An investigation, which was launched in 2014 has resulted in six men being convicted for their roles in the conspiracy.

Officers were able to provide evidence of a highly-organised network of criminals transporting cannabis by road and supplying to dealers from their stronghold in Eltham.

Acourt’s 43-year-old brother Neil Acourt has already been jailed for more than six years over the same drugs plot.

The Acourt brothers were believed to be ringleaders in the gang. The gang was careful in its planning and recruitment, communicating face-to-face and using only trusted people they either knew well or were related to.

On February 1, 2016 the Met arrested eight men on suspicion of conspiracy to supply drugs.

Officers also seized 100 kilos of cannabis and £40,000 in cash. Five men were subsequently convicted and sentenced for their part in the conspiracy, in February 2017.

Jamie Acourt went on the run. He was eventually found and arrested at a gym in Barcelona on May 4.

He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cannabis resin on Thursday, November 6. A total of seven men have now been convicted or found guilty over the drugs operation.

They include the stepfather of Jamie Acourt’s partner, Lee Birks, 57, of Orpington, and Neil Acourt’s 65-year-old father-in-law Jack Vose, of Bexley.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Bedford, of the Met’s Organised Crime Command, said: “Today’s conviction is the culmination of several years’ of complex investigation by Met detectives.

“Diligent policing work has enabled the team to build a case which has disbanded a drugs network valued at around £4 million.

Their tenacity has ensured that six members of the drugs network have now faced justice.”

Two of the men, Gary Dobson and David Norris, who were originally arrested with the Acourt brothers for the Stephen Lawrence murder, were found guilty of his murder in 2012, almost 20 years after the horrific attack and jailed for life.

Acourt was never convicted of the racist attack on Mr Lawrence and has always denied any involvement.

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