Devon

Dance Academy owner Manochehr Bahmanzadeh loses appeal

Dance Academy police raid, 2006
Image caption Following an undercover police operation, 140 officers raided the Dance Academy in Union Street in 2006

A Plymouth nightclub owner jailed for allowing his premises to be used for dealing drugs has lost an appeal against his conviction.

But a successful appeal against sentence meant Dance Academy boss Manochehr Bahmanzadeh, 55, walked free from the Court of Appeal in London.

Bahmanzadeh's nine year sentence was cut to seven and a half years.

He was jailed in 2008 in connection with the supply of drugs but had denied the charges.

£1m confiscated

Undercover police began monitoring the club in December 2005, eventually sending in 140 officers in riot gear to raid the premises in May 2006.

A total of 16 drug dealers were later prosecuted and jailed for their activities at the club.

Bahmanzadeh claimed he was the victim of a miscarriage of justice, but a previous appeal in 2008 failed.

His latest appeal revolved around new evidence which was said to cast doubt on the reliability of a key prosecution witness.

Bahmanzadeh was made the subject of a £1m confiscation order in 2010 under the Proceeds of Crime Act, which had been paid, the court was told.

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