A CONVICTED drug dealer has denied knowing a garage rented under his name in the Colne Valley was being used to store more than £1m worth of class A drugs.
Mark Appleyard, 37, denies four charges of conspiring to supply drugs.
He told Bradford Crown Court yesterday that a friend had asked him if another man could use his bank account to rent the unit at Crimble Viaduct, Slaithwaite.
"I did not know where the unit was," he said.
"I was told it was for a friend of his who wanted to store his van in it because it kept getting broken into. I was just asked to pay the standing order. I did not even know that it had been rented in my name."
Giving evidence, Appleyard refused to name his friend because he said that he had been threatened a few days before he trial was due to start.
He told the jury: "I had gone down to my flat and I was unlocking it. Somebody walked out of a corridor and said to me `You know what happens to grasses'.
"I was petrified."
The court has heard how three other men - Damien Smith, Paul McKone, and Dean Butters - have admitted their part in the conspiracy.
But prosecutor Andrew Haslam told the jury this was not an indication of Appleyard's guilt.
Mr Haslam said police saw Smith loading a package containing cocaine into his van in September, 2003. He drove to meet Butters and McKone and handed over the drugs. The pair were arrested soon after in Bradford.
Police then raided the Crimble unit and found 15,791 grams of cocaine, which has a street value of £1.4m. There was also a large amount of Ecstasy, cannabis resin and other amphetamines.
Appleyard, of Tamar Street, Little Horton, Bradford - who was jailed for four years in 1998 for possession and supplying drugs - denies any knowledge of the stash.
He was asked by his barrister, Gerald Hendron: "Had you any involvement in unit seven or any knowledge of what was being stored there?"
Appleyard replied: "None. None at all."
The case continues.