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Former Coronation Street actor who played gangster in soap is jailed over real life drugs bust

Mirror Mirror 10/04/2016 By Chris Osuh

© Provided by Mirror A former Coronation Street actor who played a gangster in the soap has been jailed over a real life drugs bust.

Chris Hargreaves was sentenced to four and a half years in prison after wholesale amounts of cannabis were found in his garage.

Hargreaves played five roles in the ITV soap in the 1980s and 1990s.

In his last appearance he played gangster Carl Foster, who caused the death of popular character Des Barnes, Manchester Evening News reports.

Hargreaves also made appearances in Hollyoaks and Inspector Morse. But after the screen roles dried up he became involved in organised crime, and he has now been locked up for four-and-a-half years, supported in court by Heartbeat and Emmerdale actor Mark Jordon.

Police with a drugs warrant raided the garage of Hargreaves’ former family home in Kersal, Salford, and found 3kg of high-grade hash with a street value of nearly £8,500.

Prosecutor Michael Maher told Manchester Crown Court £38,000 of ‘dirty money’ was found stuffed into Tesco carrier bags, shoeboxes and drawers at the property which Hargreaves shared with his then wife Samantha and their five children.

© Provided by Mirror When the couple’s finances were investigated, it was found they had laundered £17,500 through their children’s bank accounts.

They also had a £24,000 caravan and a £4,000 a year pitch, none of which could be explained by the modest incomes they garnered from his bit part work and fledging business ventures, or her mobile hairdressing business.

Hargreaves, 48, now of Newcastle-under-Lyne, Staffordshire, was found guilty at an earlier trial of possessing class B drugs with intent to supply, money laundering and possessing the club drug M-Cat, dating back to January 2012.

His ex-wife Samantha Hargreaves, 46, of Neville Road, Salford, was found guilty of money laundering and given 18 months, suspended for two years, with supervision and 120 hours unpaid work. Her defence described her as a ‘pillar of her community’, and the judge accepted she had been implicated by Mr Hargreaves.

In his trial, Hargreaves claimed the cannabis must have belonged to friends of his son and claimed cash came from investors in a film he had conceived called ‘I Know A Safe Place’.

© Provided by Mirror Hargreaves claimed a BAFTA-winning movie director was advising him on the project. But when the number that he claimed belonged to the director was contacted by the prosecution, the person on the end of the line was revealed to be an elderly lady who had never heard of him.

Sentencing for the drugs and cash offences, Recorder Graham Wells said: “This was not something off the cuff - this was sophisticated, this was organised, and it was big. The jury rejected it was money paid towards investment in a film. They found it was drug money.”

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