A man who had previously been convicted of hare coursing in Lincolnshire has now been jailed for his role in a £100m drug-dealing ring.
Thomas Jaffray was jailed on 19 September for 13 years and four months after being found guilty of conspiracy to supply cocaine, amphetamine and cannabis, and conspiracy to launder the proceeds of crime.
The 34-year-old, of The Greenway in Middlesbrough, was part of an eight-strong drugs gang caught supplying millions of pounds of cocaine and heroin to the north-east of England.
Manchester Crown Court heard that Mr Jaffray was said to be “at the heart of the operation”. The court heard how the drugs ring was run like a business, with the men wooing clients with expensive trips where he touted for their business.
CCTV footage of Mr Jaffray and two associates was shown to the court – the trio were seen celebrating New Year’s Eve with table service at an exclusive Edinburgh hotel and bar, spending thousands of pound on drinks and rooms while meeting with clients who they hoped to do business with.
In January, Mr Jaffray was convicted at Lincoln Magistrates Court for hare coursing on a farm in Digby Fen, north of Sleaford, in September 2017.
He was fined £300, told to pay a £30 victim surcharge and banned from entering private land in Lincolnshire with lurchers or similar dogs. His lurcher dog, “Lucky”, was seized and rehomed.
Organised crime link
Speaking after sentencing in the latest case, chief inspector Phil Vickers said it showed the link between hare coursing – the illegal pursuit of hares by dogs in a field in which money is bet on the outcome – and organised crime.
Chief Insp Vickers said: “For some time we have said that hare coursing can be linked to organised and serious crime and this conviction is another example of this.
“We will continue to tackle hare coursing and take every opportunity to share intelligence with other forces to ensure that any organised crime is fully exposed.”
If you have information about hare coursing, please call Crimestoppers on 0800 783 0137 to report anonymously. Alternatively, call 101 or 999 if there is a risk to life.