Film director denies drugs deal charge

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A film director masterminded a multi-million pound heroin smuggling operation with the help of a stuntman and a pop singer, a court was told yesterday.

But Joseph Pyle's plans to sell 25kg (55lb) of the drug backfired when he hired a petty criminal who turned informer.

The court was told that the informer, Richard Green, working with police, set up a pounds 25,000 heroin deal with an undercover officer posing as a northerner named Dave. Together they lured Mr Pyle, 56, whose film company is called Touchdown Films, Peter Gillett, 32, a singer, Terence Plummer, 55, a stuntman, and Francis Tyson, 61, into a trap.

The Old Bailey heard how the first pounds 25,000 deal went wrong when one of Mr Pyle's unsuspecting drop-off team could not open the boot of an unmarked police car which had been left in a car park at Burgh Heath, Surrey.

After the bungled deal, Mr Pyle moved into the supply of opium, the court was told. William Boyce, for the prosecution, said: 'Pyle was anxious that the northerner shouldn't go back up north. He wanted to encourage him to supply vast quantities of heroin to the advantage of everyone.'

Mr Boyce said the opium dealing was to 'try to keep Dave on the hook until more big heroin deals could be set up'.

An opium exchange was set up for July at a hotel near Heathrow. Mr Pyle was arrested in a London hotel room, as soon as the deal was struck.

Mr Pyle, of Morden, south London, denies supplying heroin and opium. Mr Gillett of Burgess Hill, Sussex, denies supplying opium.

Mr Plummer, of Leatherhead, Surrey, denies supplying heroin and opium. Mr Tyson, of no fixed address, denies supplying opium.

The trial continues.