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South Norfolk village in shock after man is jailed for drug smuggling

06:38 08 May 2014

Geldeston Village.

Geldeston Village.

©Archant 2014

A south Norfolk village has been left in shock after hearing that a villager was sentenced to ten years for drug smuggling.

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Christopher Thrower, 37, of Station Road, Geldeston, was caught by Border Force attempting to smuggle almost three kilos of crystal meth into the UK. He was arrested on June 9, 2013, as he arrived at Heathrow Terminal 4 having travelled from Burkina Faso, via Casablanca, Morocco. Following a search of his suitcase officers noticed that the bag was unusually heavy when empty and an x-ray revealed hidden compartments in the case. A crystalline substance found concealed inside the compartments was tested and found to be amphetamine.

The case was referred to the National Crime Agency’s Border Policing Command and Thrower was charged with attempting to import a class A drug. Following a trial at Isleworth Crown Court, Thrower was found guilty and sentenced to ten years in prison on May 1. He was also given a four year travel restriction order, which will come into force when he has served his sentence.

Mandy Harrison of Mandy’s Pickles based in Geldeston, has lived in the village for 16 years. She said she was “totally shocked” by the news. “Geldeston is a lovely sleepy little village where not a lot happens. You don’t expect to hear that. We are a real close-knit community but I have never heard of his name. He must have kept himself to himself.”

Another man, Darren Cattermole, 41, of Bungay, stood trial alongside Thrower having been arrested at Heathrow on June 8, 2013, following the seizure of another three kilos of crystal meth. He was found not guilty of importation charges.

The court was told how the six kilos of drugs would have had a total estimated value of around £1million had they been sold in the UK.

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