Five people on trial over drug ‘conspiracy’

Liverpool Crown Court
Liverpool Crown Court
  • Five people on trial accused of a conspiracy to supply Class A drugs
  • Ashley Tunstall from Preston has denied the conspiracy
  • All five were charged after a covert surveillance operation across the city
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A man who denies he was involved in a conspiracy to peddle hard drugs on Preston’s streets has been shown hidden CCTV footage of himself running away from police officers in an alleyway.

Ashley Tunstall, 25, of St Austin’s Place, Avenham, is among five people on trial at Liverpool Crown Court accused of a conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs.

He told the court he supplied valium tablets – a Class C drug – but told jurors he was not involved in supplying Class A drugs.

In a video clip he was seen arriving at Bolton’s Court in Preston in a black car and leaping out and gesticulating at a white van blocking his path into an alleyway – then running away as police officers sprung from behind the van.

Prosecuting, Andrew Ford asked Tunstall why he had ran away from the officers.

He replied: “If someone jumps out of a van it’s natural instinct to run away.”

He said at the time he had been “taking a short cut” to go and see his three-week-old daughter.

The court heard he had £545 cash in his possession.

Co-defendants Ryan Malik, 27, of Henderson Street, Plungington, Denise Bradley, 45 , of Derby Square, and Louis Brown, 24 of Whitmore place, Ribbleton, deny two counts of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, while Ashley Keany, 27, of Fir Trees Avenue, denies one count.

The alleged conspiracy dates between July 1 and September 10.

All were charged after a covert surveillance operation led to raids on a number of properties across the city last September.

Denise Bradley denies being a “party” to either conspiracy. When quizzed at court about why there was a crack pipe, scales and bags in her flat when police entered in September 2014, she said: “It was for my own use.

“I had scales to check my stuff. The bags were just general food bags.”