Celebrations end for chocolate box drugs gang as judge hands out jail terms totalling 34 years

Celebrations end for chocolate box drugs gang as judge hands out jail terms totalling 34 years

JAILED: Anthony Graver who was jailed for 12 years

JAILED: Kerry Shaw who was jailed for seven years

JAILED: Dale Brough who was jailed for eight years

JAILED: Simon Stevenson who was jailed for seven years

SEIZED: The drugs found under Shaw’s car

HIDE: The gang hid cocaine in a tub of Celebrations chocolates

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Crime Reporter

A DRUGS conspiracy gang, which hid cocaine in a Celebrations chocolate box, has been jailed for a total of 34 years.

Mother-of-three Kerry Shaw was yesterday the last of the conspirators to be sentenced when she was imprisoned for seven years at Bradford Crown Court.

The Recorder of Bradford, Judge Roger Thomas QC, told the 28-year-old blonde, who wept throughout the hearing, she had played a central role in the conspiracy, which involved tens of thousands of pounds of drugs.

She had been in a relationship with the conspiracy's ringleader, Anthony Graver, for ten years, but Judge Thomas said she was not a helpless individual under his evil spell.

"You are an intelligent woman," he told her. "You have got quite a lot of vim and vigour about you, and you knew full well at all turns in this case what you were doing."

Graver, 53, of Foxroyd Drive, Mirfield, described by the judge as an "intelligent and determined criminal" with an anti-police attitude, was jailed for 12 years at a previous hearing.

Dale Brough, 50, of Sutton Crescent, Tyersal, Bradford, and Simon Stevenson, 33, of Parkside Road, West Bowling, Bradford, had been sentenced to eight and seven years imprisonment respectively for their roles in the conspiracy.

The gang's trial heard that on November 5, 2012, a vehicle driven by Graver was seen visiting a garage, on an industrial estate in Tyersal, which was rented by Brough . On leaving the garage the vehicle was stopped and searched by officers. Graver was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply controlled drugs and searches were carried out at the address where he was living.

At his home, a number of items including a small amount of diazepam tablets, a hydraulic press, steel plates, electronic scales, freezer bags and knives were seized. Traces of illegal substances were found on the scales and knives.

A search was made of the garage and a set up for the cultivation of cannabis was found in the loft space above the office. Drugs were seized, including 2225 tablets of Class C drug benzylpiperazine (BZP) and 80 grams of cocaine, hidden in a red Celebrations tub stuffed in a wall cavity.

Brough and Stevenson were present at the garage and were arrested.

Fewer than four weeks later, while on bail, Graver was seen parking a vehicle belonging to Shaw in a secluded area at Birch Services on the M62. A black box, attached to the underside of the vehicle by a magnet, contained three small packages of cocaine. A replacement hydraulic press was found at his home.

Cocaine, BZP and other class C drugs were found at Shaw's home in Foxroyd Drive, Mirfield. Her fingerprints were later found on some of the packaging of drugs seized at the rented garage.

Judge Thomas said he was concerned about Shaw's three young children and he regretted his sentence would have an adverse effect on them, but it was her doing.

Detective Inspector Neil Hollis, of West Yorkshire Police, said after the case: "We are committed to taking drug dealers and the illegal drugs they peddle off the streets and welcome the prison sentences these individuals have been given.

"It is clear that this criminal operation brazenly continued after the arrests of Graver, Brough and Stevenson in November 2012 with Graver being caught red handed with 60 grams of cocaine just a month later.

"Clearly, despite knowing they were under suspicion they must have considered themselves untouchable. I hope this case demonstrates that our inquiries do not end on arrest and that we will continue to act on any new intelligence or information from members of the public about those already under investigation."

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