Police Interceptors drugs swoop footage shown to jury in trial of eight men
The night TV show Police Interceptors filmed a drugs swoop has been played to a jury in the trial of eight men.
The jury watching it on a big screen at Teesside Crown Court were told that the Durham Police raiding party of four cars included the programme’s “Dynamic Duo” of Sergeant Kevin Salter, now Inspector, and Pc Michael Fisher known as Spike.
They were told that the wisecracking pair had earned themselves fans, and that Inspector Salter gets invited to open fetes.
Another of the police drivers who was involved in the boxed-in stop of a Mitsubishi Shogun on the night of April 8 2016 gave evidence.
Pc Christopher Leer, now serving with West Yorkshire Police, said that he was “camera shy” but he appeared in the courtroom footage.
He said that he had a TV cameraman in his marked patrol car when they stopped the Shogun in Black Lane, Wheatley Hill, and Salter arrested a man.
Pc Leer said that he was then told to search the area for any discarded items, and he used a torch to check the verges.
He said that he walked back up the road and he looked over a hedge where he saw a package “which appeared to be drugs”.
He added: “The item was left in situ and Scenes of Crime Officers were called to photograph it before it could be recovered”.
He was told by a defence barrister that it had been suggested that Salter found the drugs there.
Pc Leer added: “It’s a long time ago and I can’t remember if I was the first person to find the drugs
”I did not think it made any difference whether I was the first person to see it.
”Sergeant Salter said that he wanted the road searched and I went back to do the job.”
The prosecutor Matthew Bean said when he opened the case last month that the package was found to contain cocaine with a value to be given in evidence later.
Mr Bean also said that more cocaine with a total value of about £100,000 was recovered after police surveillance led to two vans being stopped earlier.
On 7 December 2015 a van with a quarter of a kilo of cocaine worth £75,000 was stopped on the A19 in the area of Haswell Plough.
And on 21 January 2016 a Ford Transit was stopped on the A688 travelling South near Coxhoe when an eighth of a kilo of cocaine worth £37,000 was found dumped on a bridleway alongside the road.
Alan Baines, 33, of Meryl Gardens, Hartlepool, and Graham Wilding, 33, of Warren Road, Hartlepool, deny conspiracy to supply a controlled drug of Class A between 2015 and 2016 alongside Gary Mitchell, 42, of Pinedale Drive, South Hetton; Stephen Horner, 24, of Frederick Terrace, South Hetton; Christopher Hickson, 35, of Gloucester Terrace, Haswell; Darren Gates, 49, of Chaucer Avenue, Biddick Hall, South Shields; Dean Pringle, 34, of Little Eden, Peterlee, and an eighth man, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
The trial continues