SUTTON DRUGS TRIAL: Defendant turned to selling drugs after income fell

Nottingham Crown COurt.
Nottingham Crown COurt.
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A Sutton man has told a crown court jury that a ‘moment of stupidity’ led him to getting involved in dealing amphetamine - but he denies any involvement in producing the drug.

Daniel Robinson (30), of Paling Crescent, Sutton, has admitted a charge of conspiracy to supply the Class B drug during a trial at Nottingham Crown Court, but has pleaded not guilty to a charge of conspiracy to produce it.

Taking the stand today, Robinson said that it was after his income fell when he left his previous job and went to work for his brother’s tarmacing company that he first got involved with dealing amphetamine.

He received a tax rebate in April 2013 after his annual income came in under the tax threshold and he then approached lifelong friend Ben Mullins, whom he knew was ‘not whiter than white’, and purchased some amphetamine from him using that money.

“I was not earning what I thought I would be earning and I got involved in something that I shouldn’t have done,” Robinson said.

“It should never have happened.

“I should never have got involved in something like this.

“It was a moment of stupidity that’s led to a few more moments of stupidity.”

Robinson is standing trial alongside seven other defendants who are accused of being part of a multi-million pound drug operation which spread across the north of England.

Ben Mullins (33), of Market Street, South Normanton, and Richie Fido (29), of no fixed address, have both admitted charges of conspiracy to produce and supply amphetamine.

One of the key events laid down in the prosecution’s case is a police raid on the Protein Masters shop on King Street in Sutton last July, which was carried out after an intelligence gathering operation.

Officers found a large quantity of amphetamine plus some of the ingredients used to make the drug in the property.

An analysis of Robinson’s phone records show that he was in frequent contact with Mullins and some of the other defendants during last June and July using disposable pre-paid mobile phones.

These were Craig Donnelly (24), of Peel Street, Sutton, who has also admitted a charge of conspiracy to supply amphetamine, but has pleaded not guilty to a charge of conspiracy to produce it, and his brother Anthony Donnelly (31), of Southwell Road West, Mansfield, who denies both charges.

Robinson said he was a close friend of Craig’s and knew Anthony, the owner of Protein Masters, both through him being Craig’s brother and because he sells him steroids for his personal use.

Under questioning from his defence barrister Matthew Stanbury, Robinson denied that any of the calls or text messages between himself and Mullins or the Donnellys were anything to do with other drugs seizures detailed by the prosecution that took place on the same days.

Robinson said that Mullins called him three days before the raid on Protein Masters asking to meet him and Craig Donnelly for a drink at the Ladybrook pub in Mansfield.

Mullins told them that he ‘had had a bit of trouble’ and needed some help replacing some amphetamine after the police had ‘taken down’ some of his supply.

“He basically asked me and Craig if we would bulk up some amphetamine for him at the weekend,” said Robinson.

They agreed to help and were told they needed to bulk 4kg of amphetamine into 12kg by adding caffeine and they would be paid with 1kg each.

They also had to move ‘some stuff’ for Mullins and did so using Anthony Donnelly’s van, taking everything to Protein Masters on Saturday 27th July.

They had bought some equipment that Mullins had told them to and Fido had dropped some off at Robinson’s house.

CCTV cameras capture Robinson, Donnelly and Fido’s movements during this process.

The trial continues.

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