jamie acourt stephen lawrence murder suspect was drugs ringleader

Jamie Acourt: Stephen Lawrence murder suspect was ‘drugs ringleader’

Jamie AcourtImage copyright NCA
Image caption Jamie Acourt was never convicted of any offence related to Stephen Lawrence’s death

A suspect in the murder of Stephen Lawrence is on trial accused of being a “ringleader” of a conspiracy to supply “huge quantities” of cannabis resin.

Jamie Acourt, 42, originally from Eltham, south-east London, was extradited from Spain where it is claimed he lived in hiding for more than two years.

Mr Lawrence was killed in a racially motivated attack in Eltham in 1993.

Jurors were warned that Mr Acourt was never convicted over the attack.

Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC told Kingston Crown Court the accused was integral to the “long-running conspiracy to supply huge quantities” of hashish between London and South Shields, for which his brother, Neil Acourt, has already been convicted.

“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,” he said.

Image caption Stephen Lawrence was murdered in 1993

As well as warning jurors they should consider the case solely on the evidence before them, Judge Peter Lodder QC asked if any of them was a serving or retired Metropolitan Police officer.

“The defendant in this case is Jamie Acourt. His name may be familiar to you because it has been alleged that he played a part in the murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1993,” he said.

“He has never been convicted of any offence arising out of the investigation arising out of that death.”

No jurors raised any issues and 12 were sworn in.

Mr Acourt was arrested in Barcelona on 4 May, where he had been using the alias Simon Alfonzo, Mr Aylett added.

From July 2014, the conspirators made at least 34 600-mile return trips to ferry money or resin during a two-year period, the court heard.

Mr Acourt, currently of no fixed address, pleaded not guilty to one count of conspiracy to supply the Class B drug between 1 January 2014 and 2 February 2016.

The trial continues.