Jamie Acourt jailed: Stephen Lawrence murder suspect sentenced to nine years for £3m cannabis smuggling plot

‘That you played a leading role is beyond doubt. The delivery men took most of the risks, you and your brother remained in the background receiving the money’

Jamie Acourt, 42, from Eltham in south-east London, was living in Spain as ‘Simon Alfonzo’
Jamie Acourt, 42, from Eltham in south-east London, was living in Spain as ‘Simon Alfonzo’

A suspect in the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence has been sentenced to nine years in prison after he admitted heading up a £3m drugs plot.

Jamie Acourt, 42, from Eltham in southeast London, admitted the two-year conspiracy to supply cannabis resin and was jailed at Kingston Crown Court on Friday.

Acourt had previously denied conspiracy to supply a class B drug between January 2014 and February 2016, but changed his plea on Thursday following the end of the prosecution’s case opening.

His 43-year-old brother Neil Acourt had already been jailed for more than six years over the hashish scheme. Jamie had fled to Spain, where he was living under the alias “Simon Alfonzo” until his arrest in May.

Prosecutors believe the brothers were ringleaders and enlisted family members to an operation that saw drugs transported in 600-mile round trips between London and South Shields, Tyne and Wear.

Both were previously arrested after the fatal stabbing of 18-year-old Stephen Lawrence in Eltham in 1993, but have always denied involvement.

Sentencing, the recorder of Richmond-upon-Thames Judge Peter Lodder QC said a sentence of six years and three months passed on Jamie Acourt’s brother was ‘lenient’ and he would not be using it as a benchmark.

The judge handed Jamie Acourt a longer sentence despite the fact he was involved in the conspiracy for a shorter time than his sibling.

The judge allowed a 10 per cent discount off a 10-year sentence because Acourt withdrew from the conspiracy in May 2015.

Jamie Acourt appearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, London 

Acourt looked straight ahead and appeared emotionless as he was jailed.

Judge Lodder said: “Over a period of just over two years there were at least 34 instances – generally a round trip of 600 miles or so in the same day.

“Whenever any money was collected on returning to southeast London the delivery men would hand the money over to either you or your brother Neil.

“That you played a leading role is beyond doubt. The delivery men took most of the risks, you and your brother remained in the background receiving the money.

“From this alone it is clear you were a ringleader.

“You now accept that over an eight-month period, 25 return journeys took place and 500kg of cannabis resin was supplied.”

National News

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