A Pevensey Bay drug dealer who was jailed after police found ‘fist-sized lumps’ of cocaine in his car has failed in his bid to clear his name – despite a friend claiming the drugs were his.
Judges were told that Michael Timothy Ahearne was caught driving by police in Tooting, London, with 124g of cocaine, worth £6,200, in his car.
The 31-year-old, of Marine Avenue, Pevensey Bay, also had thousands of pounds in drug money in the car when stopped in December 2016, the court heard.
Ahearne claimed that a friend of his, who had been riding in the car earlier that day, had left the drugs there without his knowledge.
But when the cling-film wrapping of the two lumps of drugs was forensically examined, Ahearne’s DNA was found on it.
Ahearne was jailed for four years at Kingston Crown Court in January after being convicted of having cocaine with intent to supply and possessing criminal property.
This week (October 16), at London’s Appeal Court, Mr Justice Jeremy Baker heard him challenge the ‘safety’ of his convictions.
Ahearne still insists that the drugs belonged to a friend who had since committed suicide, the court heard.
He claimed his DNA was found on the cling film because he had used it earlier, when ‘preparing food’.
The friend who took his own life had made a statement before he died that the drugs in the car were his, the court heard.
But the judge at Ahearne’s trial refused to let that statement go before the jury, after prosecution lawyers argued it was ‘inherently unreliable’.
Ahearne argued the statement was ‘crucial’ to his defence and jurors should have seen it.
But Mr Justice Baker, who was sitting with two other judges, refused to grant Ahearne permission to appeal.
“We are unpersuaded that the judge’s decision was arguably wrong,” he concluded.