Drugs kingpin has jail term reduced

Darren Bowling
Darren Bowling

A Barrowford man who was one of the kingpins in a major drugs supply operation across the North West has won a slight reduction in his jail term.

Judges at the Criminal Court of Appeal reduced the 11 and a half year sentence passed down to Darren Bowling (48), of Colne Road, Barrowford by 12 months.

Bowling was a member of a gang who dealt cannabis and cocaine on a huge scale.

He admitted conspiracy to supply class A drugs, concealing and possessing criminal property at Preston Crown Court in October last year.

Mr Justice Spencer told the court that Bowling had played a leading role in the conspiracy, which came to light during a Lancashire Police operation between April, 2013 and January, 2014.

In July, 2013, police intercepted a payment made for a wholesale package of cannabis that Bowling was selling.

Two kilograms of cocaine, with a street value of more than £500,000, were then seized in Ashton-upon-Mersey, in Sale, Cheshire, in September, 2013.

Bowling had legitimate business interests including a self storage company in Burnley which was placed under observation by police, the judge said.

The court heard he left a box containing £48,000 cash there before returning with a sports bag containing £29,720 and taking back the original package.

Two more boxes of cash were found at the storage company - the overall total was £140,000.

Bowling’s lawyer argued his jail term was too tough.

Mr Justice Spencer said 11 and a half years for Bowling - “a man who has never been to prison before”- was a ‘very substantial sentence’.

Taking into account Bowling’s previous good character and good work record, the judge reduced his jail term to 10 and a half years.