29 Jul, 2019 @ 12:01
1 min read

Inside luxury Spanish bolthole where Stephen Lawrence suspect lived while on the run

THIS is the luxury Spanish hideaway where Stephen Lawrence murder suspect Jamie Acourt hid from British drugs cops for two years.

Acourt – one of five men arrested for the racially-motivated stabbing of Lawrence in 1993 – fled the UK in 2016 after cops nailed a gang that moved cannabis from London to the North.

NABBED: Acourt was on the run after a £3 million drugs bust

He ran to Marbella, and then to Barcelona’s swanky Diagonal Mar district, before his arrest in May last year.

But before his capture, Acourt, 43, was renting a £2,550-a-month pad that he left ‘trashed’ thanks to a carefree lifestyle of parties and pretty women.

“Pretty girls would often turn up in taxis and leave after a few hours. I’d see the men ­coming back from shopping trips with bags of expensive clothes,” a neighbour told the Sunday People.

HIGH LIFE: The apartment complex had a pool and a gym and was yards from the beach

“When they were arrested the apartment was full of designer stuff. There were also protein powders and steroids and even a safe which they bought after they moved in. All that was left in it were a few coins.”

Another neighbour said: “The owner was mortified when he found out who he had been renting to. He had no idea.”

The owner of the £720,000 flat, whose name was not being revealed, said he had to completely refurbish the apartment because it was a ‘filthy mess’ with ‘rubbish’ strewn everywhere.

Tipped off about Acourt’s fitness obsession, officers posing as bodybuilders arrested him at a gym in the city in 2018.

Acourt, of Bexley, South East London, admitted conspiracy to supply cannabis and was jailed for nine years at Kingston crown court in December.

DANGEROUS DUO: Acourt shared the luxury flat with fellow fugitive drug smuggler Michael Lloyd

A National Crime Agency officer based in Spain told the Sunday People: “We came close to catching him a few times before we did. We linked him to another drugs case in Barcelona.

“He’s got contacts and family on the south coast of Spain.”

Cops also picked up fellow fugitive drug smuggler Michael Lloyd, 31, who lived at the flat.

He got seven years at Birmingham crown court in November after admitting trying to import cocaine into the UK.

The arrests were the culmination of a two-and-a-half-year probe by a specialist Spanish team who worked with the UK’s National Crime Agency.

The Madrid-based international ­fugitives unit has arrested more than 20 people wanted by the UK since the start of last year.

Joshua Parfitt

Joshua James Parfitt is the Costa Blanca correspondent for the Olive Press. He holds a gold-standard NCTJ in multimedia journalism from the award-winning News Associates in Twickenham. His work has been published in the Sunday Times, Esquire, the Mail on Sunday, the Daily Mail, the Sun, the Sun on Sunday, the Mirror, among others. He has appeared on BBC Breakfast to discuss devastating flooding in Spain, as well as making appearances on BBC and LBC radio stations.

Contact me now: joshua@theolivepress.es or call +44 07960046259. Twitter: @jjparfitt

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