By Isle of Wight Radio Reporter
Thu, 04 October 2012 6:49AM
An Isle of Wight fishing boat captain, jailed over a plot to smuggle £50m of cocaine hidden among lobster pots, has failed to convince top judges he is the victim of a miscarriage of justice.
Jamie Peter Green, 44, of Newport Road, Yarmouth, is serving a 24-year sentence after he was convicted of conspiracy to import cocaine at Kingston Crown Court last year.
Green, who appeared via video-link at London's Criminal Appeal Court, and his co-conspirators planned to retrieve watertight holdalls stuffed with drugs from amongst lobster pots - where they had been stashed offshore.
His case was referred to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) - which investigates potential miscarriages of justice - after a juror, known as 'Juror Nine', made serious allegations about discussions in the jury room.
Green's lawyers argued the allegations rendered his conviction "unsafe" and urged three of the country's most senior judges to hear evidence from Juror Nine about what happened during deliberations.
But, rejecting his appeal bid, Lady Justice Hallett said Juror Nine's evidence was 'not capable of belief' and would not be heard as 'fresh evidence' by the Appeal Court.
The prosecution case at trial was that more than half a ton of cocaine was dropped from a ship and members of the gang headed out to collect the packages in Green's fishing boat, Galwad-Y-Mor.
After bringing the drugs closer to land, they were dropped again into the sea, with the intention that they would be collected during the hours of darkness.
The holdalls had been tied along a rope so they resembled lobster pots, with a buoy and makeshift anchor tied to either end to allow the gang to retrieve their haul.
The drugs eventually washed up in Freshwater Bay, where they were spotted by a member of the public who then contacted the police.
Doubts were raised over the safety of Green's conviction when Juror Nine came forward and claimed certain other members of the jury were 'biased'.
The juror also claimed matters were discussed during deliberations which had not emerged as part of the evidence during the trial.
The CCRC launched an investigation and interviewed the other members of the jury panel in a bid to establish what happened in the jury room, but none of the other jurors backed up Juror Nine's statement.
Green's lawyers argued the allegations made by Juror Nine, if true, rendered Green's conviction unsafe.
His barrister, Miranda Moore QC, said that, if Juror Nine's credibility was called into question, then he should be called to give evidence before the Appeal Court.
But, dismissing the appeal, Lady Justice Hallett said Juror Nine's evidence was 'not capable of belief'.
The judge added: "On our reading of the CCRC's investigation, there is in fact not only no support for Juror Nine's allegations, the other jurors contradict the serious allegations that he has made."
She said the other jurors felt Juror Nine was someone who held strong views about the lengthy sentences imposed on drug offenders and allowed that to colour his judgment during the deliberations.
The judge, sitting with Mr Justice Cranston and Mr Justice Burnett, added: "We see considerable force in the submission that it would be extraordinary if Juror Nine was correct in his allegations and remembered what had happened accurately, while all the other jurors had a different recollection."