Dutch truck driver loses appeal over €5.6 million heroin haul
A DUTCH truck driver jailed for ten years for the attempted importation of €5.6 million worth of heroin has had an appeal against his conviction dismissed.
In April 2011, Jan Stuurman (43) was sentenced to 10 years, with three years and four months suspended, by Judge Tony Hunt for unlawfully aiding and abetting the importation of heroin at New Custom House, Dublin on December 16, 2008.
Stuurman, who lived at Curran Ard, Athy, Co Kildare, was originally charged with possession of the heroin for sale or supply but entered a guilty plea at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to the aiding and abetting charge.
In his appeal, his lawyers claimed he only entered the guilty plea as a result of two rulings made by Judge Hunt but, it was argued, those rulings were incorrect.
Yesterday, the Court of Criminal Appeal found that even if the trial judge had made an error in rulings in relation to Sturman's arrest and search, such an error would not have prevented him from having a fair trial "in all the circumstances of the case."