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Fighter had no regard for 'misery' of drugs

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: July 22, 2014

  • Paul Mitchelson drugs haul

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THE NATIONAL Crime Agency has hit out at a jailed kickboxing champion for the potential misery his drugs racket could have caused.

Paul Mitchelson, of Mill Street, Cotton-in-the-Elms, was jailed for nine years after he smuggled more than £2 million worth of drugs in a hired Volkswagen van.

The WRSA British Super Heavyweight titleholder was caught with 11 kilos of cocaine, more than 51,000 ecstasy tablets and 23 kilos of the drug in powder form at a UK border control point in France.

The National Crime Agency has now issued pictures of the haul showing how Mitchelson concealed the drugs in the van.

It has also issued a statement condemning the actions of the 39-year-old professional fighter.

Malcolm Bragg, from the National Crime Agency, said: "Drugs destroy communities and Mitchelson had no regard for the misery and damage they would have caused. Tackling the supply of drugs and protecting our borders are priorities for the NCA and its partners."

Mitchelson was jailed after pleading guilty to smuggling drugs.

Maidstone Crown Court heard that when he arrived at the UK control zone in Calais in the early hours of May 28 in a hired Volkswagen van he told customs officers he had been to Belgium to view a classic 1976 Porsche for a third party.

However, panels were removed from inside the van and several packages of drugs were discovered.

The National Crime Agency has released pictures which show how Mitchelson intended to deceive customs officials.

Interior panels inside the van had been ripped off and the drugs were hidden behind them.

The pictures also show the extent of the drugs haul.

Judge Jeremy Carey said Mitchelson had been 'a man of impeccable character' who had represented his country, but in jailing him added: "You knew the scale of the operation because of the quantities being loaded. You knew they were Class A drugs."

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