Newport boxer Lee Churcher jailed for four years on cocaine conspiracy charges
Welsh boxing champion Lee Churcher was jailed for four years after admitting conspiracy to supply cocaine.
Churcher, 32, of Howe Circle, Ringland, appeared at Swansea Crown Court this afternoon for sentencing alongside four other co-defendants, including his nephew Ben Churcher, who had all pleaded guilty to the charge.
Ben Churcher, 19, of Brain Close, Newport, was sentenced to two and a half years in a young offenders institution.
Mark Davies, 32, of The Green, Pembroke, was sentenced to seven and a half years imprisonment, Michael Ryder, 27, of Leach Way, Tenby, to six years imprisonment and Christian Hughes, 34, of Wiston Street, Tenby, to three years and eight months imprisonment.
The court heard the arrests came following an investigation by Dyfed Powys police into the supply of cocaine in Pembrokeshire.
Davies and Ryder were found to be sourcing cocaine from Newport while based in Pembroke.
Police gathered evidence from 15 key dates between August 25, 2011 and June 8, 2012 when different defendants contacted or met with each other to facilitate the supply of cocaine from Newport to Pembroke for onward sale. But it was heard that it couldn't be said cocaine had been supplied on every occasion.
More than 680g of cocaine was seized in total in the operation.
This included 603.25g, which had a street value of £21,105, which was seized from another man named Paul Simpson on August 25, 2011. Simpson has since been sentenced to four years imprisonment.
A total of 27.78g which had 65 per cent purity and a street value of £1,925 was seized from Hughes on May 23, 2012. If cut, this would have a minimum value of around £7,700.
On June 8, 2012, a total of 52.23g, which had a 16 per cent purity and a street value of £1,855 was seized from Ben Churcher.
On this day Ben Churcher had travelled by train to Tenby while Lee Churcher had gone by car.
Lee Churcher was seen meeting with Ryder and then later seen putting a bag of cash into his pocket. When he was arrested by police he tried to break his phone and police recovered £359.03 from him which had been given to him by Ryder.
Ben Churcher was arrested the same day and the drugs were found on him.
The court heard Ben Churcher had couriered drugs on three occasions in total while Lee Churcher had made phone contact and met with other defendants on other occasions.
The court heard it was accepted that Lee Churcher had been working on behalf of a person above him and had not become involved in the conspiracy until after August 2011.
Representing Lee Churcher, who served five years in the Army, David Webster said his role could be "properly characterised as significant but not as leading".
Representing Ben Churcher, Simon Goodwin said he had shown "genuine remorse".
Bartisters for the other defendants asked the judge to consider their guilty pleas as well as Ryder's efforts to rehabilitate himself.