The fall of Hartlepool’s ‘crime boss’

Dave Garside
Dave Garside

A judge has warned a man he faces a considerable jail term after being labelled the boss of an organised crime group involved in a suspected £100m drugs conspiracy.

Hartlepool drug dealer David Garside, 30, has been told by a judge that he faces such a considerable jail term for his involvement in a drugs conspiracy, that a huge haul of 470kg in amphetamine would not make a difference to his sentence.

The quantity is such that it can be considered a vast commercial supply. This defendant was at the top of an organised crime group in Hartlepool in relation to all of the drugs.

Prosecutor Peter Makepeace

Teesside Crown Court heard Garside was one of the ringleaders of what has been dubbed a Hartlepool organised crime group as part of an investigation into a major drugs production operation on Merseyside, referred to as the North West group.

The Mail understands a single seizure of amphetamine by police was valued at £100m alone.

Garside, of Hampstead Gardens, Hartlepool, has already admitted four counts of conspiracy to supply cocaine, amphetamine and cannabis.

The court heard that Count 3 of his charges related to amphetamine seized during the police operation and the hearing was held to decide his level of involvement in dealing the drug.

His defence barrister Christopher Stables said he admitted this charge on a basis that his involvement in the conspiracy ended on November 1, 2013.

This means that two further seizures made by officers over the following two months, totalling the equivalent of 470kg of amphetamine, would not accepted by the defence.

During a hearing yesterday, Judge Peter Armstrong had to decide whether this would make a difference to his sentence, which will take place on June 22.

Prosecuting, Peter Makepeace said there was telephone contact between Garside and members of the North West Group.

One of seven seizures related to the case involved an ‘amphetamine lab’ found in Liverpool on November 19, 2013, he said.

On that occasion 100 litres of amphetamine oil was seized, which had the potential of being turned into 2.7kg of amphetamine per litre.

“The quantity is such that it can be considered a vast commercial supply,” Mr Makepeace said, adding: “This defendant was at the top of an organised crime group in Hartlepool in relation to all of the drugs.

“The prosecution maintains that he was involved and fulfilling his leading role up until January 31.”

However, Mr Stables said the Hartlepool group was just one of many North East customers being catered for by the North West group.

“The organisation in the North West is substantially bigger than Mr Garside in the North East,” he added. “He accepts he was in a leading role in the Hartlepool group which was one of a number of customers of the North West group.”

Judge Armstrong said Count 1, which related to 15kg of cocaine would result in a substantial prison sentence for Garside.

“If someone was on a single count it would make a significant different to sentence,” Judge Armstrong said.

“It is not going to make a significant difference overall, as the sentence on Count 3 is likely to be less than that of Count 1, which is going to result in a substantial sentence.”

Three other Hartleppol men, Darren Crossley, 31, of Galsworthy Road; Adrian Morfitt, 29, of Caistor Drive; and Richard Ryan, 36, whose address is listed as care of HMP Holme House, will also be sentenced later this month after admitting their part in the conspiracy, along with 14 other people.

Crossley will face a hearing tomorrow to iron out any issues, as will Morfitt and Ryan at a date to be confirmed next week.