Police officer and convicted dealer were ‘the drugs A-team,’ court told

Gary Christie

Gary Christie

A convicted drugs dealer and a police officer accused of corruption were described to a jury as 'the drugs A-team'.

Intelligence officer PC Gary Christie denies passing police information to cocaine dealer Asa Dobbing.

Asa Dobbing

Asa Dobbing

In his closing speech to the jury at Teesside Crown Court, prosecutor Nick Dry said: "Here they are together again, together in the dock of a crown court.

"Drugs dealer Asa Dobbing, and his man on the inside, PC Gary Christie, the A-team, the class A drugs supply A-team.

"The pair had an enduring friendship, regularly socialising and taking trips abroad together.

"Christie says he was just a friend who sometimes provided a shoulder to cry on for Dobbing.

"You might think Dobbing had plenty to cry about, one of his trusted lieutenants had been arrested with a kilo of cocaine worth £650,00 on the street, and his brother had also been arrested."

Christie is alleged to have searched police intelligence records for Jamie Malloy, one of the arrested conspirators.

He described the allegations against him as 'absurd and embarrassing'.

"You might think that shows a certain arrogance," said Mr Dry. "Christie was at first unable to remember what was spoken about during a clandestine meeting with Dobbing in Barnes Park in Sunderland which lasted 40 minutes.

"When he did eventually remember, he said the discussion was about Mr Dobbing's relationship problems.

"So he has now turned into a confidant, not just someone Christie knew from the pub and football, as he would have you believe.

"Given the meeting took place subsequent to the arrest of one of the conspirators, it is a fair inference to draw what it was about."

Christie, 42, of Silksworth Lane, Sunderland, denies misconduct in public office, and conspiracy to supply class A drugs between August 2012, and April, 2014.

Chris Knox, summing up Christie's case to the jury said: "Unlike Mr Dry, I am going to invite you to concentrate on the evidence in this case, and there is no direct evidence against Mr Christie.

"Much has been made of the amount of contact between him and Mr Dobbing, but where does that take you?

"If Mr Christie, to use the colloquialism, was bent, is it likely that as an intelligence officer he would have left all those calls and texts on his phone for later analysis?

"He did refer to police colleagues as 'pigs' in one of the texts, but we know he rejoiced in the nickname Ginger Pig, and using the term in a text to his friend doesn't make him corrupt.

"There were trips abroad with Mr Dobbing at which many others were present, not all of whom were drugs dealers.

"Mr Dobbing organised the football team, and these trips had been going on for years, not just at the time of this conspiracy."

Mr Knox said Christie had accessed police computers for legitimate policing purposes, and had only done so on three occasions in relation to the allegations against him, despite the conspiracy lasting 15 months.

"The searches were months apart," said Mr Knox. "If Mr Christie was helping this conspiracy, what was he doing in the meantime?"

Dobbing, 37, of Ryhope Grange Court, Sunderland, denies aiding abetting a person to commit misconduct in public office.

Dobbing declined to give evidence in his own defence.

Earlier during the trial, the jury heard Dobbing, and a number of other men and women, have been convicted of conspiring to supply class A drugs at earlier hearings.

Summing up his case to the jury, Robin Patton said: "For Mr Dobbing to be guilty of aiding abetting misconduct, you would have to find Gary Christie misconducted himself.

"All he did was search for information about one of Mr Dobbing's tenants who had not paid the rent.

"Surely, if Mr Dobbing wanted information to help his drugs dealing, he would have asked what the police knew about himself, his brother, and the Aspect Garage, which all feature in the conspiracy.

"We know Christie searched for none of those things.

"That fact might make you think Mr Dobbing's contact with Christie was not about assisting a drugs conspiracy."

Judge Howard Crowson is due to begin his summing up of the case to the jury on Monday.

Proceeding.