A SOUTHAMPTON man who plotted to flood a city estate with hard drugs has seen his 20-year prison sentence slashed by appeal judges.

Babak Rajabzadeh, 32, was heavily involved in the supply of cocaine on the Thornhill Estate.

He was first jailed for 12 years at the city’s crown court in June 2015, but had another eight years added last year.

Rajabzadeh was prosecuted for a second time after he was linked to a huge shipment of cocaine cutting agent, benzocaine.

He admitted a second conspiracy to supply cocaine and his total sentence was topped up to 20 years.

But after an appeal, the “manifestly excessive” total sentence was slashed to 16 years.

Judge Christopher Kinch QC said consecutive sentences were appropriate but added: “The sentence needed to be just and proportionate when looked at in aggregate. In order to achieve that, there needs to be a reduction from the sentence imposed.

“We have concluded that the sentence of eight years should be quashed and replaced with a term of four years, consecutive to the Southampton term.”

The Court of Appeal heard Rajabzadeh had been the “principal supplier” of drugs to criminals on the Thornhill Estate in spring 2014.

That had led to his 12-year sentence in 2015, but at the same time he had been plotting to traffick large quantities of benzocaine, the court heard.

Two 25-kilo drums were bought and transported to Islington, in north London, where one was to be sold to another criminal, Alfred Henaj.

Police watched in June 2014 as one drum was put into Henaj’s Mercedes, before pouncing when another man tried to drive it away.

Henaj, 36, of north London, had distanced himself from the drum by going to a nearby coffee shop.

The prosecution case alleged that Rajabzadeh had planned to sell one drum to Henaj and use the rest to cut cocaine for supply in Southampton.

Lawyers argued that, because the benzocaine had been linked to drugs supply in Southampton, Rajabzadeh should not have got any more time in jail for it.

It was part and parcel of his involvement in crime on the south coast and so a consecutive sentence was wrong.

Giving judgment, Judge Kinch, sitting with Lord Justice Davis and Mr Justice Holroyde, said a consecutive term had to be passed.

The 12 years he was serving from his first conviction took no account of dealing benzocaine to Henaj, he said.

However, in adding eight years, the Old Bailey judge had gone too far. The total term was cut to 16 years.

Henaj tried to appeal his 14-year term for conspiracy to supply cocaine, but Judge Kinch branded his complaints “unarguable” and upheld the sentence.