Brentwood man is found guilty for his part in Essex drug ring


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A Brentwood man has been found guilty for his part in an Essex drug ring, while a second man has been acquitted.

Matthew Goodyear convicted of conspiracy to supply cocaine at Chelmsford Crown Court to gasps of horror from friends and relatives in the public gallery.

But whoops of joy from friends of fireman, Daniel Oughton, greeted his acquittal on the same charge.

Goodyear, 34, of Thorndon Hall, Thorndon Park, Ingrave, Brentwood, was found guilty by a majority of 10-2 after a seven- week trial of conspiracy to supply the class A drug between April 15, and October 13, 2011.

But full-time Tottenham fireman Daniel Oughton, 35, of Brentwood, who also denied the charge, was found not guilty. He wiped a tear from his eye as he sat in the dock before he was discharged.

The jury went out late on Friday afternoon to deliberate and took nearly 10 hours to return their verdicts.

Goodyear and six others from Romford and Epping, who pleaded guilty earlier to the conspiracy, will now all be sentenced on February 28. Judge Christopher Ball QC remanded Goodyear in custody.

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Police kept covert watch on the suspects for six months. Operation Putney recovered cocaine worth more than £155,000 and more than £100,000 cash but the prosecution claimed that was “no more than the tip of the iceberg”.

Mr Oughton, who was also working part-time as a scaffolder with Glen Bingle, one of the other defendants who has already pleaded guilty to conspiracy, said he knew nothing of the illegal conduct his friends and associates were involved in.

The other defendants now due to be sentenced next month are: Roger Higgins, 29, of Foxglove Road, Rush Green, Romford; Glen Bingle, 37, of Tring Gardens, Romford; Darren Walter, 42, of Colne Drive, Harold Hill; Joseph Davis, 30, of Nightingale Crescent, Harold Wood; Scott Hagger, 36, of Doddinghurst Road, Brentwood; and Kurt Downer, 43, of High Street, Epping. They have pleaded guilty to conspiracy and are awaiting sentence.

Three others, from Brentwood, Billericay and Harlow, have already been jailed for possessing the class A drug with intent to supply. Eric Athanassiou, 45, of High Street, Brentwood, got four years in jail for possession with intent to supply; David Hands, 25, of Grange Road, Billericay, got five years and Daniel Godtschalk, 32, of Denby Grange, Church Langley, Harlow, received four years.