Gang appeal lost

PUBLISHED: 07:59 27 January 2006 | UPDATED: 21:39 28 May 2010

BARRY WARDEN: 10 years

BARRY WARDEN: 10 years

THREE family members and a friend involved in a major drugs cartel in the Fens failed to get their sentences cut by appeal court judges. Barry Warden, 60, his wife Mavis, 54, and their son Richard, 29, all of Belt Drove, Elm, were each jailed for 10 year

MAVIS WARDEN: 10 years

THREE family members and a friend involved in a major drugs cartel in the Fens failed to get their sentences cut by appeal court judges.

Barry Warden, 60, his wife Mavis, 54, and their son Richard, 29, all of Belt Drove, Elm, were each jailed for 10 years at Cambridge Crown Court last June after pleading guilty to conspiracies to supply cocaine and cannabis.

Along with other family members and friends they had run a sophisticated drugs operation for more than a decade from their former council home, making hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Richard's friend Gary Muller, 28, of Millway, The Stitch, Friday Bridge, was jailed for seven years after admitting the same offence.

RICHARD WARDEN: 10 years

All four had asked for their jail terms to be cut, claiming they were "manifestly excessive" but judges sitting at London's Criminal Appeal Court last Thursday refused.

Various submissions were made on behalf of each offender, but Mr Justice Ramsey, sitting with Lord Justice Latham and Judge Peter Beaumont rejected all the appeals, noting a number of extracts from transcripts of recordings made by undercover police during their dealings with the Wardens.

He said: "The evidence in total, including those extracts, shows in relation to the supply of cannabis that Barry and his wife Mavis were the directors of the operation.

"Richard Warden, however, was the main person who dealt with the buyers. He was clearly assisted by his friend Gary Muller."

GARY MULLER: Seven years

Describing it as a sophisticated operation, the judge said money was spent on a luxurious kitchen, holidays and the purchase of land.

Accepting Muller played a lesser role, Mr Justice Ramsey said he was given a lesser sentence.

He was clearly the "right hand man" to Richard Warden.

The gang had been caught following an undercover sting by Cambridgeshire police. Officers had infiltrated the cartel and bought drugs from the gang. The gang had imported drugs then stored them in socks hung in trees in pickle barrels and buried them in the ground.

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