Cocaine smuggler loses appeal against 30-year sentence

Perry Wharrie imprisoned for part in €440m Dunlough Bay drug seizure in 2007

Perry Wharrie (53) was one of four men jailed in Ireland for their part in the bungled Dunlough Bay drug-smuggling operation off Mizen Head in West Cork in July 2007. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Perry Wharrie (53) was one of four men jailed in Ireland for their part in the bungled Dunlough Bay drug-smuggling operation off Mizen Head in West Cork in July 2007. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

 

A member of an international organised crime gang behind the largest seizure of cocaine ever found in the State has lost his appeal against the severity of his 30-year sentence.

Perry Wharrie (53) was one of four men jailed for their part in the bungled Dunlough Bay drug-smuggling operation off Mizen Head in West Cork in July 2007. Perrrie was jailed for 30 years.

The plan to smuggle €440 million worth of cocaine into Ireland for shipment on to the UK came unstuck when a gang member put diesel in the petrol engine of their boat.

The engine cut out and the boat was left to the mercy of the waves with 1.5 tonnes of cocaine being tossed into the choppy seas of Dunlough Bay.

Wharrie, from Pyrles Lane, Loughton, Essex, was arrested two days later near Schull and was later charged along with three others in connection with the huge drugs haul.

He was convicted of possessing €440 million worth of cocaine for sale or supply following a lengthy trial at Cork Circuit Criminal Court in 2008.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin sentenced Wharrie to 30 years in jail along with a co-accused, Martin Wanden, of no fixed abode, while Joe Daly from Bexley, Kent was jailed for 25 years.

A fourth accused, Gerard Hagan from Hollowcroft in Merseyside, pleaded guilty to his involvement in the operation and was later jailed for 10 years.

Wharrie appealed the record sentence last February at the Court of Criminal Appeal before Mr Justice MacMenamin, Mr Justice de Valera and Mr Justice McGovern.

The three-judge court set aside two days to hear Wharrie's appeal but reserved their judgment.