Fourth man in cocaine seizure sent for trial

THE fourth English man charged in connection with the largest cocaine seizure in the history of the State was yesterday sent forward for trial.

Perry Wharrie, aged 47, with an address in Essex, England, will stand trial next month alongside three co-accused who were all charged in connection with the massive €107 million cocaine haul off the Cork coast in July.

The men were arrested following the recovery of almost 1.5 million tonnes of cocaine from the sea off Dunlough Bay in West Cork on July 2.

Wharrie was too ill to attend court last week when his three co-accused — Gerard Hagan, aged 23, from Hollowcroft, Liverpool; Martin Wanden, aged 44, of no fixed abode; and Joe Daly, aged 40, from Bexley, Kent — were sent forward for trial.

All four men are charged with possession of cocaine, possession of cocaine for sale or supply, and possession of more than €13,000 worth of cocaine for sale or supply at Dunlough Bay on July 2.

Books of evidence running to six volumes were served on Hagan, Wanden and Daly last week. The book of evidence against Wharrie was served on his solicitor in his absence.

Wharrie had recovered enough from his illness to be brought before Skibbereen District Court in Cork yesterday.

Superintendent Pat Maher said the director of public prosecutions had directed that he be sent forward for trial before a judge and jury.

Judge James McNulty remanded Wharrie in continuing bail and directed that he be sent forward for trial at the next sitting of Cork Circuit Criminal Court, which begins on October 31.

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