THE driver of a van from which a large amount of heroin and cocaine was found by police has denied previous knowledge of the drugs.

Anthony Macdonald is to stand trial over his role as to the presence of 240-grams of heroin and 2.6g of cocaine recovered from the Ford Transit van.

It was stopped by police on the A66(M) near Darlington, on the evening of Friday November 16, last year.

A search of the van at Darlington Police Station revealed the drugs in a hat and bag hidden behind the driver’s seat.

The defendant, who was arrested on suspicion of possessing the class A substances with intent to supply, claimed he was unaware of the presence of the drug consignment.

He said he had driven from Bradford where he had viewed a cement mixer.

Appearing at Durham Crown Court he denied two counts of possessing a controlled drug with intent to supply.

Asked by Judge James Adkin about the recovery of his dna on knot ties on the drug packages found in his hat, Paul Green, for the defendant, said a defence expert’s report would be submitted over the potential secondary transfer of the dna onto the packages.

Mr Green told the court: “He had no knowledge of the drugs and could not explain why they were there.”

The case was adjourned for a trial on January 23 and the defendant, 47, of Hebron Road, Stokesley, was granted bail.