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Gloucester drugs kingpin Mark Dainty fails in Court of Appeal bid to have sentence reduced

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 20, 2014

  • Mark Dainty on his speedboat

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A drugs kingpin who spent his ill-gotten gains on a luxury lifestyle - including a £25,000 speedboat - has been told by top judges he deserves every day of his jail term.

Mark John Dainty used his legitimate motorbike business as a front to mastermind a £250,000 cocaine-running plot between his base in Gloucester and another arm of the drugs ring in Leicester.

The 47-year-old, of Southgate Street, Gloucester, was jailed for nine years and four months at the city's crown court in May last year, after being found guilty of conspiracy to supply class A drugs, having criminal property and money laundering.

He challenged his sentence at London's Criminal Appeal Court, with his lawyers arguing it was 'too long' for his crimes.

But his appeal was dismissed by three of the country's most senior judges, who said the term was 'not excessive', given the scale of the plot and his pivotal role in it.

The court heard the drugs ring - which ran from January to April 2011 - was smashed by a covert police investigation, codenamed Operation Madrid.

During the period of surveillance, there were five deliveries of drugs made between gang members in Gloucester and Leicester.

The court heard Dainty used his legitimate firm, Dockside Superbikes, as a front for his involvement in the drug trade.

He splashed out on a lavish lifestyle, including the speedboat, exotic holidays and luxury cars.

His lawyers argued his jail term was over the top, saying the crown court judge didn't take enough account of his overall sentence or the delay between his trial in 2011 and his sentencing last year.

But, dismissing his appeal, Lord Justice Fulford said the term was justified in all the circumstances of the case.

Sitting with Mr Justice Hickinbottom and Mrs Justice Simler, he added: "This was a conspiracy that extended over a significant period of time.

"The particular position of Dainty was clear and the judge was entitled to sentence him on that basis."

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