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Grappenhall woman's drugs trial begins
7:00am Wednesday 2nd October 2013 in News
THE wife of a convicted drug dealer splashed cash on botox, fillers and a designer handbag while on benefits, a jury has heard.
Grappenhall mum-of-two Diane Brookhouse, of Coronation Avenue, appeared in Warrington Crown Court on Tuesday alongside two men accused of conspiracy to supply drugs as part of a £12m cocaine ring.
On the first day of a three week trial, the jury heard the 42-year-old, whose husband Richard Brookhouse was the orgainser of the conspiracy and has already pleaded guilty, maintained a ‘very comfortable lifestyle’ while on benefits.
On top of a ‘substantial’ cash deposit on her rented property, Brookhouse also ran two expensive cars in the form of a Mercedes CLC 180 Sport and VW Golf convertible, owned two iPhones with monthly payments totalling £80 and over a year spent on average £81 a month at the Toni and Guy hairdressers in Stockton Heath.
She also parted with £2,600 in cash between June 2010 and June 2013 on botox and fillers and at the time of her arrest was in possession of £440 cash and a receipt for a Chloe handbag purchased for £1,215 cash.
Neil Flewitt, prosecuting, said Brookhouse was her husband’s business partner, who was coming to the end of a 22 year sentence for importing drugs, and would drive him to meetings and also take meetings on his behalf.
He added: “There are occasions on which it is clear that Diane Brookhouse was, in the absence of her husband, speaking directly to her co-conspirators.
“The conclusion reached by the financial investigator is that the financial expenditure needed to sustain the lifestyle that Mrs Brookhouse has led over the last two years has vastly exceeded her legitimate income and continues to do so.
“It is the prosecution case that Diane Brookhouse, who knew that her husband was a convicted drug dealer, knowingly helped him to run his business while he was in prison.
“She did so to obtain the funds required to maintain a lifestyle that she could not afford through legitimate means.”
Brookhouse is part of a 19-strong gang, of which 16 have pleaded guilty, accused of regularly making drug runs to France under the guise of fishing trips between May 2012 and April this year.
Two men were caught in April this year as part of Operation Redbank with £15m worth of cocaine, £400,000 worth of heroin and a relatively small amount of M-Kat.
Brookhouse has denied any involvement with the conspiracy.
The trial continues.