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Driver asked to carry immigrants and drugs

28th March 1996, Page 10
28th March 1996
Page 10
Page 10, 28th March 1996 — Driver asked to carry immigrants and drugs
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

• A Scots court has been told that an Ulster lorry driver was frequently asked to pick up illegal immigrants or drugs during his trips to mainland Britain.

Gavin Peacock, 29, of Gannon Road, Lisburn, the High Court in Glasgow heard, always refused. Even when paramilitaries from the Irish National Liberation Army asked him last November to do a drugs run, Peacock said no.

But after he received a chilling threat and a beating up, Peacock, from Lisburn, changed his mind. The court heard that Peacock was told that if he disappeared, on his return he would be attending the funeral of his family. He was taken into an alleyway, beaten up and threatened with a cordless drill which terrorists use to knee-cap their victims.

They also threatened to nail him to a wall and the pavement with a Hilti nail gun. Peacock, a former soldier in the Ulster Defence Regiment, agreed to the drugs run and his vehicle was searched at Stranraer and found to contain ecstasy tablets worth up to £120,000 plus £200,00 worth of cannabis.

Peacock admitted charges of being concerned in the supply of cannabis and amphetamine.

Hugh Matthews, defending, revealed that in the build-up to the court case his girlfriend's home had been firebombed and on the day Peacock appeared, she had been threatened and ordered not to give evidence.

He told the judge Lord Weir that Peacock had taken a very grave risk by naming the individuals responsible, and asked him to be lenient.

Jailing him for three years Lord Weir told Peacock he was prepared to be lenient because of the "chilling" information he had received.

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