Churchill's descendant faces jail for drug dealing

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The Independent Online

One of Winston Churchill's great-grandchildren faces a lengthy jail sentence in Australia after pleading guilty yesterday to taking part in a multimillion-pound class-A drugs syndicate.

Nicholas Barton, 33, was arrested at his beachside home in the suburbs of Sydney in June last year after a three-month covert police operation resulting in a series of raids in which officers seized 250,000 ecstasy tablets worth around £6m.

Barton, who became an Australian citizen in the 1990s after emigrating when he was 18, worked in the pearling industry in Papua New Guinea. His mother is Arabella Spencer Churchill, daughter of Randolph, who was the wartime leader's son.

Barton faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on 22 February. He did not make an application for bail.

His father, Jim, a wealthy farmer from New South Wales, said his son had not known the full extent of the ecstasy operation, but had "made an error which he deeply regrets".