DRUG KING: Acourt (right) has always denied any involvement in the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence (left)

A COURT has heard how a Stephen Lawrence murder suspect ‘fled to Spain’ to escape police trying to bust his drugs empire.

Jamie Acourt, 42 was apparently the ringleader of a gang that transported hundreds of kilos of cannabis around the UK between 2014 and 2016.

Originally from Eltham, London, Acourt’s trial began today at Kingston Crown Court after he was arrested at Barcelona airport earlier this year.

AWOL: Acourt had been evading police in Spain until he was arrested earlier this year

Those present heard how in two years Acourt’s drug runners made 34 600-mile-round trips between London and South Shields to sell cannabis resin.

‘Simon Alfonzo’ was the alias used by Acourt as he evaded police for over two years in Spain, after being wanted for the drugs ring he ran with his brother Neil Acourt.

Jurors were reminded that the drug lord had had never been convicted for the racist murder of black 18-year-old Stephen Lawrence in 1993.

Acourt was one of the UK’s most wanted fugitives in Spain, before police snared him at gunpoint in Catalunya in May.

The expat had been seen ‘living it up’ in some of the Costa del Sol’s swankiest bars after he fled the UK.

Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC said in his opening statement: “Since the delivery men were taking most of the risks and the defendant and his brother were receiving the money, the prosecution allege that the defendant and his brother must have been the ringleaders.”

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