Freshwater Five

In 2011, five men from the Isle of Wight were sent to prison for a total of 104 years on the charge of drug smuggling, after £53m of cocaine was found just off Freshwater Bay.

Known as the Freshwater Five, they have insisted they are innocent of the crimes they are charged with and have been involved in a legal battle ever since.

They are Jamie Green, Jonathan Beere, Zoran Dresic, Scott Birtwistle and Daniel Payne. Scott and Danny are both out on licence.

In February 2021 Danny and Jonathan appealed their cases at the Royal Court of Appeal. If successful, it is thought the judgement will see all five go free of all charges.

Below are articles relating to the Freshwater Five.

Freshwater Five: Day Three for Court of Appeal hearing

Outside the Courts of Appeal

The judgement that Court of Appeal judges make in this case will have a direct impact on the sentences for all the Freshwater Five

Thursday, 25th February, 2021 3:30pm

By Sally Perry

Freshwater Five: Radar evidence suggests surveillance plane and a suspect vessel

Galwad-y-Nor in the harbour

The Court of Appeal hearing begins tomorrow for two of the Freshwater Five, where new information will be put before the judge. Read the details within

Monday, 22nd February, 2021 12:46pm

By Sally Perry with one comment

The Guardian launch podcast mini-series about the Freshwater Five

Freshwater Five in focus podcast ad

The podcast mini-series delves deep into one of the biggest drug convictions in British History to understand why the jury convicted the Freshwater Five

Friday, 19th February, 2021 11:58am

By Guardian News and Media with 2 readers' comments

Released from prison today, Freshwater Five Dan says, ‘Nine years of my life stolen’: Appeal underway

Freshwater Five - Dan Payne on day of release by the sea

Dan said, "I've had nine years of my life stolen from me for something I didn't do. I may have been released from prison but I am still not free. Only the Court of Appeal can put this right now."

Friday, 14th June, 2019 6:27pm

By Sally Perry with 8 readers' comments

Gathering to mark nine years since ‘nightmare began’ for Freshwater Five

Freshwater Five logo

Marking the nine years since police officers say they saw men throw bags off a fishing boat, supporters of the Freshwater Five will meet at the same spot and encourage others to "let the men know they are not alone".

Tuesday, 28th May, 2019 6:06pm

By Sally Perry with 2 readers' comments

WATCH: One of ‘Freshwater Five’ fights to clear his name on Cocaine allegations

Scott Birtwistle on BBC Victoria Derbyshire

Having served more than six years inside for a crime he has always insisted he did not commit, Scott Birtwistle, one of the so-called ‘Freshwater Five’, is fighting to clear his name.

Monday, 4th June, 2018 1:04pm

By Centre for Criminal Appeals

Freshwater Five: Isle of Wight men denied help for appeal, despite new bombshell evidence

Galwad-y-Nor :

The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) has refused to provide the Freshwater Five with evidence from the police files in their case, or add its backing to calls that the case needs to be heard again in the Court of Appeal.

Tuesday, 5th December, 2017 11:52am

By Centre for Criminal Appeals with 5 readers' comments

Powerful play tells story of Beerey – one of the ‘Freshwater Five’ serving 24 years

Beerey - Lois Temel

There are two performances of this one-act play at the Ventnor Winter Gardens. Book now to see heart-breaking story of Jon Beere, one of the 'Freshwater Five' accused of smuggling £53m of cocaine.

Tuesday, 25th April, 2017 2:08pm

By Feature Writer

Lawyer presents new evidence in ‘Freshwater Five’ £53m drug bust case

yarmouth five new gps s#data

The five men from the Isle of Wight who were convicted in 2011 of conspiring to import Class A drugs have a new lawyer who claims she's uncovered vital evidence.

Tuesday, 19th July, 2016 6:52pm

By Sally Perry with 4 readers' comments