A CROWTHORNE man accused of possessing illegal drugs with a street value of £2 million has walked free from court after his co-defendant, from Bracknell, admitted the offence.
Broadmoor nurse, Kenneth Nagle, aged 33, of Lower Broadmoor Road, Crowthorne, appeared in the dock alongside Paul Baker, aged 32, of Barry Square, Bracknell, for a plea and directions hearing last Friday.
Mr Nagle, who pleaded not-guilty to the charges, was discharged after Baker admitted one offence of possession with intent to supply class A drugs.
Prosecuter Nigel Daly said Nagle's plea was acceptable to the Crown and no further action was going to be taken against him.
A judge at Reading Crown Court was told the pair were arrested by police in December last year, and 17.02 kilos of pure amphetamine sulphate was seized from the boot.
Detectives from the national crime squad had trailed Baker's car as he went on a six-hour journey up and down the M3.
Sentencing Baker to five years' imprisonment, Judge Mary Jane Mowat, said that although he wasn't "the money", Baker was near the top with regard to the drug's importation.
She said: "Anybody who becomes involved in the supply of class A drugs must accept that a long custodial sentence is inevitable."
Mr Daly told the court that Baker had left his home in Barry Square, Bracknell, at 5am and drove for six hours, stopping off at a number of rendevous points.
Mr Daly asked the court for a further two months in which to investigate the issue of drug trafficking.
This was granted.
Defending Baker, Rupert Pardue, told the court that his client's lifestyle was not that of a drug baron.
He said: "He lives in a modest rented flat in Bracknell.
"It is not believed that any of Mr Baker's own money was involved in this.
"He was involved in the transportation of the drug."
Baker admitted one offence of possessing 17.02 kilos of class A drug with intent to supply.
The court was told that Nagle's only involvement in the case was to be in the car with Baker as he drove around.