Drug kingpin, with Norwich and Lowestoft links, enjoyed life of luxury

PUBLISHED: 09:46 10 September 2012

Johnathan McKenna. Photo: Suffolk Constabulary

Johnathan McKenna. Photo: Suffolk Constabulary

Suffolk Constabulary

FREE-spending drugs kingpin Johnathan McKenna made £216,186 for his cocaine network distributing the Class A drug throughout Suffolk and Norfolk.

However, by the time Ipswich Crown Court made an order to confiscate all his realisable assets as proceeds from crime he only had £4,150.03 left.

McKenna was the top man in a cocaine network which also included Ipswich boxer Henry Bacon, who was one of his couriers, along with four men from Lowestoft, and others with links to the town,

McKenna, 26, a Liverpudlian who lived in Norwich Road, Costessey, was jailed for 10 years eight months last week, while Bacon, 26, of Woodlands Way, was jailed for two years.

McKenna’s lieutenants Michael Kynaston, 30, of Edgerton Road, Lowestoft, and Steven Jackson, 45, of Old Nelson Street, Lowestoft, were jailed for eight and 10 years respectively.

Prosecutor John Farmer told the court the estimated street value of nearly 20 kilos of cocaine brought from Merseyside to Lowestoft was upwards of £830,000. This was brought into Norfolk and Suffolk by the gang’s couriers who completed at least 20 drug runs, travelling by road and rail.

Among them were Laurence Neve, 50, of Kirkley Cliff Road, Lowestoft, who was jailed for four years and two months, and Stephen Palmer, 45, of Denmark Road, Lowestoft, who got five years.

McKenna and his money-laundering girlfriend Caroline Murphy, 22, of Liverpool, enjoyed the trappings of their criminal riches, gained by bringing kilos of drugs down from Merseyside.

They were arrested in an early-morning raid at the high-class Dunston Hall hotel, just outside Norwich. The pair went there straight from another top-notch hotel, Claridges in London.

The couple had a penchant for nice hotels, staying in them extensively. McKenna paid £800 in cash for a one-night stay in Claridges. On another occasion McKenna spent £1,000 at the same hotel. He and Murphy also enjoyed a stopover at the plush Radisson in Bloomsbury, London.

They also drove nice cars and bought expensive watches.

Murphy admitted laundering more than £38,000 through her bank accounts, but only had £3,825.03 left when arrested. She liked designer clothes, and enjoyed a shopping spree at Harrods along with a trip on the Eurostar to Disneyland Paris. She was given a Rolex watch, had her driving lessons paid for, and McKenna paid the rent on her family’s home.

One of McKenna’s henchmen, Michael Kynaston, also made plenty of money. Now serving an eight-year jail term, he amassed a benefit of £103,245, but only had £560.03 left by the time his assets were confiscated when he was sentenced.

Kynaston, McKenna, Bacon, and five other men were all jailed after admitting conspiracy to supply cocaine.

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