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Curtis Warren exercises right to silence in Jersey drugs trial

CURTIS Warren today exercised his right to silence in his alleged drugs plot trial in Jersey.

The Toxteth-born 46-year-old has heard eight days of evidence against him and five co-accused.

curtis cocky warren liverpoolThey are all alleged to have plotted to import £1m of cannabis resin into the Channel Island from mainland Europe in summer 2007.

The prosecution case finished yesterday and all eyes in St Helier’s Royal Court were on Warren to see if Interpol’s former ‘Target One’ would get into the witness box to put forward his side of the story.

After the start of proceedings was delayed by an hour so the defence team could take final instructions, Advocate Stephen Baker, for Warren, said he would not be calling his client to the stand.

Instead he simply handed the jury two photographs, showing Warren and a woman the prosecution say is his Jersey girlfriend, Kimberley Lockely.

Advocate Baker said that from the day after Warren was released from 10 years in a Dutch prison in June 2007, there was “considerable” phone contact between the pair and when his client came to Jersey, he would stay with Miss Lockley.

He then told the jury: “That is the case for Curtis Warren.”

None of Warren’s co-defendants took to the stand either.

Liverpool-born John Welsh, 43, is accused to being Warren’s “right-hand man” on the island and is said to have set up a deal for 180kg of cannabis through Warren’s Dutch contacts.

Sarah Fitz, for Welsh, told the jury that, on July 12, 2007, Jersey police bugged her client’s VW Golf.

Officers then could not get a window back up, Advocate Fitz said, and tried to cover it up by suggesting to Welsh his car had been broken into by a thief overnight.

It is alleged the defendants’ plan changed without warning and instead of driving to Amsterdam in his own car to do the deal, Welsh is said to have taken a ferry to St Malo, in France, and hired a Citroen C1 for the journey.

Jersey police, the court has already heard, applied for international clearance to bug the hire car, but that was refused.

But two officers went to St Malo and fitted tracking devices anyway, the jury has been told.

Glasgow-born James O’Brien, 46, is alleged to have been the gang’s “boat man”. It is claimed he was to pick up the drugs from a secluded spot on the French coast and carry them back to Jersey by speedboat.

In his defence, he called a friend, Marcel McDonald, who worked on his boats for him.

Mr McDonald told the jury the boat the police claim was to be used was not seaworthy at the time of the alleged plot.

Local men James Woodward, 22; Paul Hunt, 27; and Oliver Lucas, 23, also exercised their right to silence.

It is alleged they were involved in the drug deal to provide cash and transport for the cannabis.

All of the defendants deny the conspiracy charge.

Prosecutor Howard Sharp was due to make his closing speech to the jury this afternoon.

By Ben Rossington

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