7:10pm Tuesday 19th November 2013
A WOMAN, accused of assisting her husband in £12m drug ring, admitted to committing benefit fraud but argued that this does not make her an ‘international drug dealer’.
Diane Brookhouse, of Coronation Avenue, Grappenhall, maintained her innocence throughout questioning from the prosecution during the trial at Warrington Crown Court on Tuesday.
Mrs Brookhouse is accused of conspiracy to supply drugs and is alleged to have helped her husband, Richard Brookhouse, by transporting him to meet drug contacts when he was on day release from Kirkham Prison.
Mrs Brookhouse admitted to falsely claiming benefits when she was working for a friend, Danny Kelly, and was able to claim the money as she was paid in cash.
The 42-year-old said: “I was just doing what needs to be done to make ends meet and survive. I hold my hands up but all I was doing was trying to do was what was best for my children.
“I was just getting money to get by. This does not mean that I am an international drugs smuggler.”
The court heard how Mrs Brookhouse had alleged that she had worked for a number of companies owned by Mr Kelly including UK Car Solutions and CPP Car Parks doing ‘general admin work’.
Mrs Brookhouse referred to Mr Kelly as ‘like part of the family’ and said she had known him for 12 to 13 years.
Prosecuting, Neil Flewitt questioned Mrs Brookhouse on a number of cash payments that were paid into her Halifax bank account.
Mr Flewitt said: “Between August 13, 2007 and March 18, 2008, you paid £9,255 in cash into your bank account. That is nearly £10,000 of cash. Where is that money coming from? Surely you should know where the money is coming from - that’s common sense?”
Mrs Brookhouse argued that she couldn’t remember and that she believed it to be a gift from either Mr Kelly or her parents.
When it was put to her that she had received £12,000 in cash between April 14, 2008 and February 9, 2009, she said that this money was again a gift from Mr Kelly or her parents.
Mrs Brookhouse said: “I can’t think. I’m sorry. I have always told the truth from the first statement I have made.”
The trial continues.
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