Tougher sentences for pair behind south Warwickshire drugs factory
TWO of the men behind one of the UK’s largest illegal drugs labs have had their sentences increased.
At a hearing on Wednesday (21st September), the Court of Appeal ruled that Keith Davis and Andrew Gurney’s prison sentences were unduly lenient and increased them to 10 years.
Davis was previously jailed for five years and three months and Gurney for six years and three months.
The pair, along with two other men, were arrested after the National Crime Agency (NCA) and Warwickshire Police raided farm buildings on Ullenhall Lane, between Henley and Redditch, in April 2020 where an industrial-scale drugs laboratory, capable of producing £10m of amphetamine a month, had been set up.
Gurney, 51, of Quinton, Birmingham, known as ‘The Geek’ due to his specialist electrical installation and plumbing skills, converted the outbuilding into the drugs lab.
Davis, 62, of Chalfont St Giles, underwent chemistry training to enable him to operate the site.
NCA branch commander Matt McMillan said: “Keith Davis and Andrew Gurney were key players in running one of the largest drugs laboratories ever found in the UK.
“They carefully planned this criminal enterprise, undergoing chemistry training to run the facility, which was capable of producing 400 kilos of amphetamine per month, worth £2 million at wholesale and up to £10 million at street level.
“The drugs they produced were distributed to dealers from the West Midlands to London and Kent, and will have fuelled violence, fear and exploitation in communities across the UK.
“This ruling emphasises the seriousness of their criminality, and the NCA continues to target those behind the highest risk and most complex criminal threats to the UK.”
The NCA said that the ringleader was John Keet, 41, of Chalfont St Giles in Buckinghamshire, who invested his profits from a career dealing cocaine, cannabis and amphetamines into building and managing the lab.
He pleaded guilty to a number of charges and has yet to be sentenced.
Elliott Walker, 49, of Kidbrooke, south London, an associate of Keet, purchased specialist equipment for the lab. He was jailed for six years.
Davis and Gurney’s prison terms were increased following intervention by the Attorney General’s office.
Speaking after the hearing, Solicitor General Michael Tomlinson said: “The illegal and dangerous drugs produced and supplied by both Davis and Gurney will have ruined lives, and so I am satisfied with the decision of the court to order both offenders to serve longer prison terms.
“The new sentences are a better reflection of the seriousness of the crime of drug dealing and supplying at this level.”