A MAN who was a suspect in the murder of Stephen Lawrence has gone on trial accused of being one of the ringleaders of a conspiracy to supply ‘huge quantities’ of cannabis resin.
Jamie Acourt was extradited from Spain, where he allegedly lived in hiding for more than two years using the alias ‘Simon Alfonzo’.
Jurors were warned before the 42-year-old’s trial began yesterday that he was never convicted over the racist stabbing of the 18-year-old in Eltham, south-east London, in 1993. The judge asked if any of them were serving or retired Met police officers.
At the start of the drugs case, prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC told Kingston crown court in south-west London that Acourt was integral to the ‘long-running conspiracy to supply huge quantities’ of hashish between London and South Shields. His brother Neil Acourt, 43, was one of six men already convicted, the court heard.
‘Since the delivery men were taking most of the risks and the defendant and his brother were receiving the money, the prosecution allege that the defendant and his brother must have been the ringleaders,’ Mr Aylett said. ‘That the defendant and his brother were at the heart of what was going on is also apparent from the fact that among the delivery men were the fathers of their respective partners.’
Acourt fled to Spain after police raided his home in Bexley, south-east London, Mr Aylett said. He was arrested in May in Barcelona, where he used the alias, the jury was told.
Acourt denies one count of conspiracy to supply cannabis resin. The trial continues.