Page last updated at 13:25 GMT, Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Gangster Curtis Warren claims police 'had hostile mind'

Curtis Warren
Curtis Warren was sentenced to 13 years in jail in December

Police and the Crown had "a hostile mind" towards Merseyside drugs baron Curtis Warren, an appeal judge in Jersey has heard.

Warren, 46, and five others were found guilty last year of plotting to bring £1m-worth of cannabis into the island.

He was sentenced to 13 years in prison; the rest of the gang got between five-year and 12-year jail terms.

Defence lawyers for all six men are appealing against the convictions and length of their sentences.

Earlier Warren's advocate, speaking on behalf of all six co-conspirators, claimed their trial was unfair because police and the Crown were biased against him.

'Not fitted up'

On Tuesday the appeal court was told the defence had not been allowed three "crucial" witnesses during the October trial.

It had denied the jury evidence of the level the police and prosecutors would go to to "fit Warren up", Advocate Stephen Baker claimed.

Solicitor General Howard Sharp, the crown prosecutor in the trial, told the appeal "there is no possibility of Mr Warren being fitted up".

He dismissed the defence appeal as "not relevant".

Advocate Michael Haine, acting for co-convicted Paul Hunt, 27, from Jersey, argued his client's defence was also weakened by an unclear summing up from the trial judge.

The appeal hearing continues in the secure court at Jersey Magistrate's Court building.

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