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High five was in celebration of England penalty - drugs accused; Cocaine plot trial told of gesture captured on CCTV.

Byline: James Cain Reporter james.cain@trinitymirror.com

TWO men at the centre of a drugs conspiracy trial who were captured on CCTV giving each other a high five were "celebrating an England penalty", not a drugs deal, a court has heard.

The defence's case in the trial of William Moloney and Andrew Pickering continued yesterday.

The Middlesbrough men are on trial at Teesside Crown Court along with three others as part of an alleged drug conspiracy.

All deny conspiring to supply cocaine, a Class A drug, between July and November 2014.

Yesterday prosecutor Adrian Dent cross-examined Pickering about CCTV footage that depicted Pickering in the backyard of Moloney's house on Cromer Street, in Longlands.

Mr Dent played the CCTV footage from 8.14pm on October 9, 2014, to the court, which the prosecution alleges depicts a drugs deal.

In the footage, a Volkswagen Caddy van, a car, Moloney, another defendant Damien Colleran and Pickering arrive at Moloney's house.

In the back yard, Pickering, 45, and Moloney, 52, are seen looking into a shed and talking near it.

Mr Dent said: "Mr Moloney is wearing gloves."

"Seems to be, yeah," replied Pickering, adding that Moloney may have been clearing his pigeons out.

Mr Dent drew the jury's attention to one moment when the men gave each other a "high five".

Mr Dent asked Pickering if they were celebrating a drugs deal.

Pickering, of Nunthorpe Gardens, Nunthorpe, denied this and said it was more likely that he had heard that England had scored a penalty from Moloney's TV.

He said: "England won 5-0 that night against San Marino.

"In the 43rd minute Wayne Rooney got a penalty."

Mr Dent said: "I'm suggesting it's something you've found in the shed."

Pickering replied: "I'm surmising Mr Dent. I think it's about football."

Mr Dent said: "Someone leaves something on the shed. Do you know what that was?" "I have no idea," said Pickering.

Mr Dent said: "Could it be drugs?" "No," replied Pickering. Further footage later showed Colleran, 40, leaving Moloney's house. Mr Dent said it showed "Colleran leaving holding a white package".

Pickering said: "I think that's a newspaper from my charity work with the Evening Gazette.

"There were a lot of charity things I was doing at the time."

Mr Dent said: "It's not a package of money?" Pickering replied: "As far as I know, it's not - it's the newspaper."

Mr Dent moved onto the events of October 17, the day before Pickering had a birthday party.

"At 7.18pm Mr Colleran makes contact. Can you recall this?" asked Mr Dent.

Pickering said: "Probably something to do with the party, Mr Dent."

"Seems like a lot of contact for arranging a party," said Mr Dent.

Pickering replied: "Just general chit chat."

"Not arranging a drug deal?" said Mr Dent.

"No," replied Pickering. The other defendants are Anthony Cullen, 51, of Princess Drive, Liverpool; Colleran, of General Drive, Liverpool; and Mark Riley, 53, of Sugar Well Mount, Leeds.

All deny conspiring to supply cocaine, a Class A drug, between July and November 2014.

Riley also denies conspiring to supply amphetamine, a Class B drug, in October 2014.

| Proceeding

CAPTION(S):

| Andrew Pickering, far left, and William Moloney, left, deny conspiring to supply cocaine and are on trial with three others at Teesside Crown Court. Yesterday the court heard Pickering and Moloney's high five was in celebration of an England penalty not a drugs deal
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 17, 2016
Words:572
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