Nightclub drugs pair lose appeal

By Rightnow289 · Dec 12, 2008 · Updated Dec 12, 2008 · ·
  1. Rightnow289
    Two men jailed for permitting the "rampant" sale of ecstasy at a Devon nightclub have lost their appeal.


    Manoucehr Bahmanzadeh and Tom Patrick Costelloe, owner and manager of the Dance Academy in Plymouth, claimed their trial in July was unfair.
    They said undercover police officers should not have been allowed to testify anonymously from behind a screen.
    But the Court of Appeal in London ruled their identity had rightly been kept secret for the officers' protection.

    'Overt' drug dealing
    Bahmanzadeh, 52, and Costelloe, 37, were convicted of allowing the supply of Class A drugs at the Union Street club after standing trial at Plymouth Crown Court in July.
    Bahmanzadeh, who lived above the club, was jailed for nine years for permitting the "rampant and blatant" supply of drugs at the venue and Costelloe, from Honiton, received a five-year term.
    Undercover police officers who monitored the club between December 2005 and May 2006 gave evidence from behind screens in court that drug dealing was "overt and blatant".
    In May 2006 140 riot police stormed the club and 16 drug dealers were later jailed.
    Bahmanzadeh and Costelloe said anonymous evidence from police was a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights and appealed against their conviction.
    But Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge said the identities of the anonymous police witnesses were "irrelevant" to the issues the jury had to decide.
    Keeping their identities a secret, the judge added, had been "necessary to prevent real harm to the public interest" and to protect the police witnesses' personal safety.
    The trial judge's decision to allow the witnesses to testify anonymously was "sound and realistic" and neither Bahmanzadeh and Costelloe had suffered any prejudice, Lord Judge concluded.

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  1. cannabis-sam
    Ecstasy club owner and DJ jailed

    Ecstasy club owner and DJ jailed

    A Plymouth nightclub owner who allowed the "rampant and blatant" sale of ecstasy at his club has been jailed.

    Iranian-born Manoucehr Bahmanzadeh, 52, earned up to £2m a year from the Dance Academy, one of the largest clubs in Plymouth, Devon, a court heard.

    Bahmanzadeh was sentenced to nine years at Plymouth Crown Court. Club DJ and general manager Tom Costelloe, 37, from Honiton was also jailed for five years.

    Both were found guilty of allowing the sale of the class A drug.

    The court was told undercover police officers deployed at the former club, in Union Street, between December 2005 and May 2006 found that the sale and consumption of ecstasy was "rampant" and dealing was "overt and blatant".

    Battering rams

    During the operation, 16 drug dealers were caught and jailed for a total of 27 years.

    The jury was told drug takers were often found lying on the floor of the Union Street club and ambulances could be called out two or three times each night.

    In May 2006, 140 police in riot gear stormed the club, using battering rams to force their way in to confront 200 club goers.

    Police then used powers to close down the club which had a capacity of 1,300 people.

    Bahmanzadeh had claimed he stood up to the dealers, while Costelloe claimed to have helped enforce a zero-tolerance policy to drugs.

    A third man, Nezan Ahmed, who was head doorman at the club, failed to appear in court. He is thought to have fled to Iraq.
    21 July 2008 13:05 UK

  2. Space Numpty
    Devon drug club owner ordered to pay £1m by court

    [imgl=white][/imgl]The owner of a Plymouth nightclub who was jailed for allowing drugs on the premises has been ordered to pay £1m or spend another five years behind bars.

    Manoucehr Bahmanzadeh was jailed for nine years in 2008 for allowing the supply of class A drugs at his Dance Academy club in Union Street.

    The Crown Prosecution Service applied for the payment at Plymouth Crown Court under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

    Bahmanzadeh was ordered to pay within six months or get an extended sentence.

    Barrister Geoffrey Mercer QC said the benefit the club owner had made from drug dealing was £1m and that he had more than £1m in assets.

    'Overt and blatant'

    Defence lawyer Francis Fitzgibbon QC said the club building was worth a nominal £1 but the prosecution said that it was worth between £50,000 and £100,000.

    Plymouth Crown Court heard that it was up to Bahmanzedeh how he raised the £1m as well as £75,000 in prosecution costs.

    A total of 16 drug suppliers were jailed for their activities at the club following an undercover police operation which described the dealing as "overt and blatant".

    Officers began monitoring the club in December 2005 and sent 140 riot police officers to raid the premises in May 2006.

    Tom Patrick Costelloe, who managed the Dance Academy, was jailed for five years in July 2008 for supplying class A drugs at the nightclub.

    The pair appealed against their convictions and sentences later that year but lost on both counts

    28 September 2010
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