ENCROCHAT: Man charged with gun & coke conspiracy cleared after jury hears evidence 'is unreliable'
AN alleged EncroChat user charged with a firearms and cocaine conspiracy was cleared by a jury.
Louis Langfield, 23, of Renshaw Street, Liverpool, was arrested by Merseyside Police in March 2021.
He was charged with firearms and drugs offences as part of Operation Venetic, the major police probe into the use of encrypted EncroChat mobile phone devices.
In May 2021 Mr Langfield appeared at Liverpool Crown Court today via video link from HMP Altcourse.
He pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to sell or transfer prohibited weapons and ammunition between June 7, 2020 and June 12, 2020.
According to the charge, he "conspired with others unknown to transfer weapons and ammunition" namely "a CZ P series SLP and Glock self-loading pistol and associated ammunition".
He also denied conspiring to supply cocaine between June 5, 2020 and June 13, 2020, which was also said to be a plot "together with others unknown".
He also pleaded not guilty to handling stolen goods, between June 10, 2020 and June 13, 2020.
According to that charge, this was namely "a Mercedes C63 motor vehicle belonging to an unknown person" which he handled when "knowing or believing" the car to be stolen goods.
The jury heard defence claims about the unreliability of the EncroChat evidence used in his case, before reaching its not guilty verdict on November 25.
A spokesman for Liverpool Crown Court said: "The jury came back with not guilty verdicts in respect of counts one, two and three.
"The defendant was acquitted."
He had spent 18 months on remand before the acquittal.
Mr Langfield was in the same court in January 2019 when he was jailed for five months after being caught in a stolen Volkswagen Golf which sped away from police and nearly smashed into oncoming traffic during a six-minute and seven mile pursuit.
Four men were inside the vehicle, driven by Kieran Murphy, which was only stopped when police deployed a stringer to burst the tyres on October 6 2018.
When police finally managed to box in the Golf, bringing it to a halt, near Carr Mill Dam reservoir in St Helens, both the driver Murphy, jailed for 22-and-a-half months this week, and the front seat passenger attempted to climb into the back of the still-moving car.
Mr Langfied got the five months in prison for his involvement, but was released from court has he had spent more than half of the sentence on remand.
Four months before the driving incident, Langfield walked free from the same court after being convicted of affray for punching a man who was murdered seconds later by being stabbed in the heart.
Langfield punched Sam Cook, 21, in the face just seconds in a trivial row before Carl Madigan, 27, stabbed him through the heart at city nightclub Empire Bar.
Madigan, 23, of Adam Close, Garston, admitted manslaughter, but denied murdering Mr Cook.
He was found guilty of the murder after trial and jailed for life, with a minimum of 28 years behind bars.
Langfield was set to stand trial alongside his friend after denying assaulting Mr Cook, causing him actual bodily harm.
But, he admitted a lesser offence of affray, after prosecutors dropped the assault charge.
Judge Clement Goldstone, QC, said Langfield's punch was the "catalyst" for the killing, but he was not responsible for Mr Cook's death.