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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Nick Tyrrell

Gang boss 'the Big Guy' got woman pregnant while on the run in Marbella

One of the UK’s most wanted criminals, known as “the Big Guy”, impregnated a woman while on the run in Spain where he “lived the life of Riley”.

Joshua Hendry led his mum and brother in a County Lines conspiracy which saw them traffic £1.3m of cocaine and heroin across the M62 from Liverpool to Grimsby. He later tried to evade justice by hiding in the Costa del Sol but was caught back in January.

A judge slammed the “irresponsible” 31-year-old earlier this week after it emerged he met a partner while on the run and she was now pregnant with his child. Sheffield Crown Court heard on Wednesday that Hendry set up his criminal enterprise just after being released from Scotland for similar crimes, our sister site Yorkshire Live reports .

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Hendry was known by the nickname 'the Big Guy' and was caught after being spotted in San Pedro de Alcantára, just outside Marbella, on January 20 this year. His capture came less than 24 hours after the National Crime Agency placed him on their list of the UK's most wanted fugitives.

He and his family operated an extensive trafficking scheme, with his mum, Leslie Aytoun, and brother, Scott Hendry, using a phone line to dictate to drug users where they should meet street dealers in Grimsby. The line would be used at either Aytoun's home in Liverpool, or Scott Hendry's home in Warrington.

Rupert Doswell, prosecuting, told the court that phone analysis showed Hendry in a higher position in the drugs chain than his mother and brother and he had even on one occasion told his brother to get up or he would not get paid. Mr Doswell said: "It is thought that there was £1.38million worth of crack cocaine and heroin taken to Grimsby.

"In December 2018, a black Skoda was stopped on the M62 after leaving Grimsby and he [Joshua Hendry] was the sole occupant. It was searched and no drugs were recovered but he was found to be in possession of £11,000 in cash."

He was arrested at that stage on suspicion of money laundering offences. Mr Doswell said Humberside Police first started to link Hendry to the conspiracy in December 2017, but evidence showed he was involved prior to that. The court heard that drugs would be taken from Liverpool to Grimsby, and money would be transported back. Mr Doswell told the court that the operation ran between September 2017 and March 2019 - with Joshua Hendry taking a "hands on approach."

He said: "He didn't trust the street dealers and oversaw the drugs being dealt. In May 2018, police got information that heroin and crack cocaine were being supplied from an address in Grimsby - the occupant of which was a known drug user. "Police searched that address and three men were arrested. Three other men were seen running from the rear of the property. Two were detained."

Hendry was one of the men detained and had been trying to damage a mobile phone before his arrest. Messages on the phone showed he had previously given direction to other people about dealing drugs. Mr Doswell said Hendry fled the country before his trial in March 2019 where he stood charged with conspiracy to supply cocaine in relation to the Grimsby offences. His brother, Scott, took over his role after he fled.

Hendry was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in his absence and spent three years in Spain before being arrested in January this year. His mugshot was published as part of a National Crime Agency appeal for the UK's Most Wanted criminals in January this year.

After pleading guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply class A drugs, Hendry was jailed for three months for absconding. Callum Ross, defending, told the court that during his time in Spain, Hendry met a partner who is now expecting their baby. His Honour Judge Roger Thomas described Hendry as "greatly irresponsible, knowing he is on the run and close to bringing a child into the world knowing the door would be closing on him and he would be going to custody for a long time."

Mr Ross said: "Joshua Hendry knows he finds himself in a very precarious position given the seriousness of the conspiracy and the seriousness of his involvement. He knew at some point he would be apprehended.

"He knows that he only has himself to blame that he is going to miss a significant period of their childhood. It is clearly going to have a significant impact on his new-born child and partner."

Judge Thomas jailed Hendry for a further five years, making his total sentence 15 years and three months.

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