The mysterious case of the drug-smuggling fishermen

_90434175_bcce0019-8b25-4a76-bcc3-434379c07879In 2011, a group of men from the Isle of Wight was given a combined 104-year prison sentence for masterminding a £53m drug smuggling operation. Does new evidence suggest they were innocent? “It’s like living in a ridiculous police drama,” Sue Beere says. Her husband Jonathan Beere is serving 24 years in a high-security prison in the Midlands, convicted of organising a complex operation to smuggle a quarter of a tonne of cocaine into the UK. She vividly remembers the day police came to arrest him in January 2011: “They literally came through the door in the morning… a troop of men.” Two of the other men, skipper Jamie Green and Zoran Dresic, also received 24-year sentences, while Daniel Payne received 18 years and Scott Birtwistle 14. They had been charged with conspiring to import Class A drugs. Now a new lawyer, Emily Bolton, is working on their case. She founded the Innocence Project New Orleans in the US, which has so far freed 25 prisoners, and has recently set up a new charity in the UK – the Centre for Criminal Appeals – to specialise in miscarriage of justice investigations. Read the story here 07:45

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