A 76-year-old drug dealer who flew to France in his own plane to transport cocaine to sell on the streets of the UK has been jailed for 18 years.

George Evans, of Hadrian Walk, Pacation Way, Stevenage, ran a “sophisticated and commercial” operation which earned him and his wife Anne hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Ben Gumpert, prosecuting, told the court how the illegal dealing came to light in March 2010 when Evans was kidnapped and tortured by a gang who have never been caught.

The men drilled a hole into his foot, which they filled with glue, and electrocuted him on parts of his body over a number of days before throwing him on to the A6.

His 53-year-old wife had reported him missing, prompting police to search his house, where they found a stash of the drug-cutting agent benzocaine. They also found a quantity of cocaine in a store unit in Bartford.

Police later became aware of a car registered in his name found with a stash of cocaine inside it in France and arrested the couple, Mr Gumpert added.

The driver, Brian Smith, was detained in a French prison for nine months before being brought back to the UK where he was found to be an innocent victim of the operation, unaware of the stash he was transporting.

The court heard how Evans transported drugs from France to England where he stored them at his home before mixing them and selling them on the streets.

Throughout the operation he transferred more than £300,000 into his wife’s bank account and was found to have bought his house, worth more than £500,000, with cash.

The court heard how Mrs Evans, who now lives in High Road, Beeston, Bedfordshire, was not involved in the operation but was aware the cash she was receiving into her account was criminal property.

Judge Barbara Mensah told the couple: “(Judges) see the effects of drug dealing and both of you, to different extents, played your part in it.

“Mr Evans, you sold class A drugs on the market so others could suffer from addiction that is caused by it.

“Mrs Evans, you were prepared to assist with it.

“This was a sophisticated and commercial operation. Mr Evans you went overseas to purchase drugs in substantial quantities using your own vehicle or aircraft.”

She added that those who take up drug dealing in later life can still expect harsh sentences.

Evans was sentenced to 18 years for conspiracy to supply class A drugs at Luton Crown Court today.

They received 18 months each for acquiring criminal property and another 18 months for converting criminal property, to be served concurrently. Both must serve at least half of their sentence.

The couple were convicted by a jury in July.

The court heard how the couple had problems in their marriage but attempted to stay together for the sake of their 16-year-old son, who must now live with family friends while his parents serve their sentences.

Mr Evans will be at least 85 at the first opportunity he can be released.

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