Search

£10m worth of cannabis hidden in rabbit hay lorry

PUBLISHED: 09:28 22 September 2018 | UPDATED: 09:50 22 September 2018

The cannabis was hidden behind packs of rabbit hay. Photo: Kent Police

The cannabis was hidden behind packs of rabbit hay. Photo: Kent Police

Archant

Rabbit hay was used to hide more than £10million worth of cannabis on a lorry stopped at the Dartford Crossing.

Paul Seabrook, of Hornchurch, was jailed for nine years. Photo: Kent PolicePaul Seabrook, of Hornchurch, was jailed for nine years. Photo: Kent Police

Two men have now been jailed for their involvement in a drug supply conspiracy uncovered by detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate.

Paul Seabrook, of Kendal Croft, Hornchurch, and Mark Owens, of Beach Road, Clacton, appeared at Woolwich Crown Court on Friday, September 21.

Seabrook, 52, was jailed for nine years and Owens, 58, was jailed for nine years and six months.

Owens had previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply cannabis while Seabrook was convicted following a trial.

Marks Owens, of Clacton, was jailed for nine and a half years. Photo: Kent PoliceMarks Owens, of Clacton, was jailed for nine and a half years. Photo: Kent Police

The court heard how roads policing officers pulled the lorry over at about 9am on Thursday, May 12 2016 and carried out a search of its container when the driver was unable to provide sufficient information on what he was transporting or any relevant paperwork.

Several pallets holding boxes of rabbit hay were found but officers quickly established with the help of a police sniffer dog named Sonny that the individual packets of hay had been loaded on top of cannabis with an estimated street value of up to £10.2million.

Owens was arrested on Thursday, January 25 2018 and later admitted being involved in the conspiracy between November 2015 and May 2016.

He had use of a site in Rainham, which was next door to the intended destination of the lorry, as well as an earlier shipment supposedly containing rabbit hay in April 2016.

Police dog Sonny helped to sniff out the drugs in the lorry. Photo: Kent PolicePolice dog Sonny helped to sniff out the drugs in the lorry. Photo: Kent Police

Owens was also proven to have had contact with Seabrook around the time of the police discovery.

Seabrook was involved in arranging the collection of the shipment in April 2016. His telephone number was provided by an associate to a lorry driver who was due to make the pick-up.

After the trial, Det Insp James Derham said: “I hope the outcome of this case sends a strong message to such offenders that we are committed and equipped to tackling organised crime groups across the county and beyond.”

The rabbit hay seized from the back of the lorry was donated to the RSPCA.

Latest Romford News Stories

11:38

Police tasered a man in Collier Row after he threatened officers with a meat cleaver.

Christmas, the time of year when we are pressured to buy things no one wants for people we don’t want to buy for at prices we’re not happy with.

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our Met Office video forecast.

The discovery that a man who had been jailed for using his position as a police officer to prey on vulnerable women could have been allowed to work at Queen’s hospital without a compulsory background check is worrying both for staff and patients.

Yesterday, 17:05

A market trader from Newbury Park has been found guilty of torching a £260,000 Ferrari during an arson attack in Emerson Park that was revenge for a business deal gone wrong.

Yesterday, 16:18

Two of the three teenagers accused of taking part in a fatal knife attack which killed a 15-year-old outside a party in Collier Row have claimed they played no role in the incident.

Yesterday, 16:00

Whether visiting friends and family or going for that bargain in the sales, the rail network helps a lot of people to get around over the festive period.

Yesterday, 15:41

A Brentwood school has taken the Christmas crown in the annual Deck the Mall competition at the Liberty Shopping Centre thanks to one special pupil.

PROMOTED CONTENT

From November, The Mercury in Romford begins to celebrate Christmas. The mall has plenty of gift ideas, fun events and activities for everyone

Vauxhall has completed its sport utility vehicle range with the third, and largest, Grandland X. We put the SUV, now available at Tony LeVoi in Romford, to the test.

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,” so the saying goes. So if some warm weather is making your conservatory uninhabitable, think about replacing its roof with a flat one and adding a roof lantern instead.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

News from your area

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now