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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 November 2006, 21:25 GMT
Drug-dealing barrister is jailed
Hassan Modjiri (left) and Paul Murdoch
Modjiri and Murdoch were described as an "odd couple"
A barrister who ran a cocaine factory from his apartment alongside a gangster has been jailed for seven years.

Hassan Modjiri, 27, was secretly filmed in his south-west London flat discussing a drugs sale with arms dealer Paul Murdoch, 36, a court heard.

When armed police raided the flat in Barnes they found nearly 1kg of cocaine with a street value of 150,000.

Modjiri and Murdoch, of Notting Hill, west London, who was given nine years, admitted possession and supply charges.

Judge John Hillen, sitting at Blackfriars Crown Court, told them: "You are an odd couple indeed."

'Roman king'

Modjiri was filmed by a hidden camera discussing a lucrative drugs deal on the phone in the kitchen of his flat on 29 September.

"This one is the cream," he told his would-be customer. "Who is the Roman king, mate, me. I am a face and a half. We are making bundles."

Modjiri's kitchen
Modjiri was preparing the cocaine for sale in his luxury Barnes flat

Another camera caught him preparing and packaging the drugs for what the prosecution described as a "double-your-money" enterprise.

Moments later, armed police burst in and ordered Modjiri and Murdoch to lie on the ground.

A car parked nearby and belonging to Murdoch was searched and found to contain 46 bullets of varying calibres.

The pair pleaded guilty to one count of possessing cocaine and one of offering to supply on 29 September.

Former milkman Murdoch, who has a previous firearms conviction, admitted six ammunition possession offences.

Cocaine factory

Modjiri, who worked for solicitors JD Spicer, had been the subject of a police surveillance operation, the court heard.

John Elliott, prosecuting, said he had lived in a "substantial and comfortable" apartment which "in reality was a cocaine factory".

"It was used by these two defendants for processing, packaging and distributing in wholesale quantities high grade cocaine," he said.

Benjamin Squirrell, representing Modjiri, said his client had worked hard to improve himself, eventually winning a prized scholarship to the Bar but he became depressed when he failed to find chambers.

"It was in that mindset he became involved in cocaine," said Mr Squirrell.


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