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Soldier who abandoned 14kg of cannabis in Greeba is jailed for 5 years

29-year-old who went AWOL from British Army is sentenced

A British soldier has been jailed for more than five years after importing 14 kilos of cannabis to the Isle of Man.

Jordan Ashley Brayford, from Bentilee in Stoke on Trent, was sentenced at Douglas Courthouse today (17 March) after admitting acting as a courier.

The 29-year-old travelled to the Island on 27 January, in a Mercedes van, but abandoned it in a lane in Greeba shortly afterwards.

The following day he went to Ramsey Police Station and told officers he'd been drinking and couldn’t remember where he’d left it and couldn’t find his keys.  

He also claimed he was on the Island to ‘mountain bike and clear his head’ but told officers he’d given his bike away to some children after cycling between pubs.

Checks showed Brayford was absent without leave from the 25 Training Regiment Royal Logistics Corp, in East Yorkshire, and he was arrested.

'Sophisticated hide'

When officers located his van they found it, damaged, with the keys in the ignition; two ‘sophisticated’ hide panels, operated by remote control, were also discovered.

They were concealing 30 packages of cannabis bush which had a street value of £284,232.

Brayford later admitted to producing the Class B drug and possessing the substance with intent to supply.

In his basis of plea Brayford said he was experiencing personal issues at the time, due to the death of a friend, and was attempting to clear some of his debt by bringing the drugs to the Island.

“I find it amazing he comes over here with 14.2 kilos of cannabis and abandons his vehicle!” – Deemster Graeme Cook

'Catastrophic error of judgement'

Brayford’s advocate told the court his client’s behaviour had been ‘erratic and bizarre’ and he’d been in a ‘vulnerable position’ and ‘amenable to suggestion’.

Describing it as a ‘surreal period’ he told the court Brayford had been paid £1,000 for couriering the drugs adding: “He accepts that this was a catastrophic error of judgement.”

“The various accounts he gave in police interview were complete nonsense,” he added, describing Brayford’s excuses for why he was on the Island as ‘a spiral of deceit’.

The court heard Brayford had joined the army in February last year before passing out four months later – an event described as ‘the proudest moment of his life’.

His advocate said joining the British Army was a ‘lifelong aspiration’ but revealed he’d now been discharged adding: “That has all been taken away from him due to his own stupidity.

“It’s different for him to reconcile how silly he has been.”  

Sentencing Brayford to 61 months in custody Deemster Cook said it was a ‘bizarre set of circumstances’.

“You knew you were bringing something over,” he told him: “You are linked to organised crime in some way.”

Brayford will also be excluded from the Isle of Man for five years on his release.

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