Cocaine dealer’s jail sentence cut by Court of Appeal judges

David Gallagher.
David Gallagher.

A high-rolling cocaine dealer caught channeling hard drugs into Hartlepool from Merseyside has had his sentence cut by top judges.

David Stuart Gallagher, 57, was one of the “leading lights” of a sophisticated operation supplying the Hartlepool area with high-grade cocaine.

The electrical transfomer used to smuggle cash and drugs was weighted down with bricks.

The electrical transfomer used to smuggle cash and drugs was weighted down with bricks.

He and his accomplice, David Haggan, 44, were arrested after a covert police operation tracked them to a rendezvous at a shopping parade.

When they were arrested, an electrical transformer box, of the kind used in building sites, was found to contain traces of cocaine.

Gallagher, of Wharton Terrace, and Haggan, of Cranwell Road, on the Fens Estate, both in Hartlepool, were caught with £44,950 in drugs cash in 45 bundles.

Both were jailed for 13 years at Teesside Crown Court in November 2015 after they were convicted of conspiracy to supply cocaine by jurors.

In March this year, however, the Court of Appeal cut Haggan’s sentence to 12 years and Gallagher sought a similar reduction.

The court heard there was little to distinguish between the two, each having played a “leading role” in bringing the “scourge” of drugs to Hartlepool.

“They were the leading lights of the eastern side of the conspiracy,” said Judge Martyn Zeidman.

The judge, sitting with Lord Justice McCombe and Mr Justice Holroyde, allowed Gallagher’s appeal.

“The end result is that we will quash the 13-year sentence and substitute a 12-year sentence,” he concluded.

The investigation led by Cleveland Police Organised Crime Unit.