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Drug smuggler appeal fails

PUBLISHED: 18:47 30 April 2008 | UPDATED: 14:43 25 August 2010

A COCAINE smuggler who lived the life of a multi-millionaire on the back of the misery his illicit trade caused for users failed in an appeal against his 22-year jail term at London s Criminal Appeal Court.

A COCAINE smuggler who lived the life of a multi-millionaire on the back of the misery his illicit trade caused for users failed in an appeal against his 22-year jail term at London's Criminal Appeal Court.

Karl Pettitt, 40, originally from Gainsborough, in Lincolnshire, was handed the lengthy prison sentence after admitting to importing millions of pounds worth of the Class A drug at Blackfriars Crown Court last April.

Police staking out a house in Croydon witnessed a violent robbery in which three men, two of them armed, stole almost 80 kilograms of cocaine.

Just two-and-a-half months later, in August 2003, police observed the handing over of a consignment of cocaine at a hotel in Bexley.

When tested, scientists were able to link the drugs to those recovered following the earlier robbery. In total, just over 90 kilos of 100 per cent pure cocaine was seized during the two operations, with a street value of up to £12 million. Pettitt was arrested in September 2003 in Madrid. With him, he had a list of names of numerous dealers in the UK and the amounts that each owed him for drugs.

On Tuesday, his barrister, Mark Milliken-Smith QC, argued that the 22-year sentence was too long and that insufficient credit had been given for his guilty plea. However, the judge dismissed the appeal.

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