8th October 1988

Aristocrat John Hervey is arrested in Jersey

John Hervey, the 7th Marquess of Bristol, was a British hereditary peer who inherited a £35m fortune at the age of 21. He spent almost all of this during his lifetime, initially on investments like oil wells in the United States and a sheep farm in Australia, but also on drugs and enjoyment. He was forced to sell the family home, Ickworth House in Suffolk, to the National Trust as his money ran out.

Stopped by customs

Hervey’s luck came to an end in 1988 when travelling back to Jersey after a business trip to the mainland. Customs officers discovered white powder that he admitted was cocaine, which he said was for his own private use. This assurance was not enough to forestall a raid on his Jersey holiday home at St Ouen.

Customs officers discovered a golden spoon and rolled up £5 note in his Aston Martin, and other drugtaking paraphernalia at his home. He was 34 when arrested and, during his trial, he admitted possessing 13 grammes of cocaine and importing it into Jersey. At the time, Jersey’s policy was to imprison anyone convicted on such a charge unless exceptional circumstances applied which in this case, in the view of attorney general Peter Crill was not the case.

The court sentenced Hervey to 12 months in prison. He was released on 28 April the following year.


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Other events that occured in October

  • BBC broadcasts the first episode of Bergerac
  • The BBC’s Jersey-set police drama, Bergerac, produced in association with Australia’s Seven Network, followed Jim Bergerac of the fictional Bureau des Etrangers. With 87 episodes across nine series, including six Christmas specials, it ran until boxing day 1991.
  • Read more…