Highbury man jailed for smuggling weed in grand piano

12:43 10 May 2012

The smugglers stashed drugs worth more than £400,000

The smugglers stashed drugs worth more than £400,000

Archant

A drug smuggler who stashed more than £400,000-worth of cannabis in a grand piano has been jailed for six years.

Evan Masson, 34, of Drayton Park, Highbury, arranged for the consignment to be shipped from his native South Africa to a disused warehouse.

The former sound engineer enlisted construction boss and fellow South African Brian Beangstrom, 60, of Wightman Road, Harringay, to help him transport the load.

But the pair were caught red-handed by customs officers as they prised open the piano crate at the warehouse in Hornsey last October.

The shipment – containing 143.9 kgs of the class B drug – had been under surveillance for a week after it was intercepted by UK Border Agency officials when it entered the UK through Felixstowe.

Defending Masson, Minka Braun said he lost his job at the London Music Studios in the recession, and was reduced to sleeping on his elder sister’s sofa when freelance work dried up. She said: “He accepts that his dire financial situation was the catalyst for finding himself involved in offending of this sort.” He planned to use some of the cash to travel to Australia to fight for custody of a son he had never met, she added.

Defending Beangstrom, Scott Ivill said his client believed until a late stage they were collecting a family heirloom, and was offered just £300 to help.

Beangstrom was sentenced alongside Masson at the Old Bailey on last Thursday to 18 months in prison, but will walk free in less than two months having already spent 210 days on remand.

Judge Timothy Pontius told them: “The conspiracy in which, on your own admission, you were both involved, was a large-scale enterprise.”

Masson took a leading role in organising the drug shipment and stood to make a “significant financial reward”, he added.

The judge told Beangstrom: “It is a tragedy that someone of mature years with a commendable employment background and your lack of significant previous offences should be tempted into crime of this scale for only paltry reward.”

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Crime news

Friday, February 5, 2016
Nemash Patel photographed the police cordon

Thousands of commuters were evacuated from one of the city’s biggest train stations today, as a suspected World War Two bomb was found on a building site near Victoria.

Friday, February 5, 2016
George Verrier was punched when he tried to calm down a fight. He hit his head on the pavement and later died (Photo: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire

)

Two Metropolitan police officers have been dismissed for gross misconduct after the death of 17-year-old George Villiers who was punched at a party in Bromley.

Thursday, February 4, 2016
They hit him with his own cane (Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Police are hunting for two men responsible for a sickening attack the Grahame Park estate in Colindale.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Franklyn Mathurin pleaded guilty to the burglary (Photo: Metropolitan Police)

A man who stole a laptop full of family photographs of a young boy as his father was burying him has been caught and jailed.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016
A man was stabbed in Plaistow Park on Friday

A murder inquiry is underway after a man who was knifed in a fight in Newham died in hospital yesterday.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Harjit Singh Dulai was stabbed to death last Wednesday (Photo: Metropolitan Police)

A boy aged just 16 has been charged with the murder of Harjit Singh Dulai, an Uxbridge man who was stabbed to death on Wednesday January 27.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Read more
Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Read more

Latest Tech News

Transport