Couple dealt cocaine from their own home

Stephen Downing
Stephen Downing
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A COUPLE have been jailed for dealing cocaine from the home they shared.

Stephen Matthew Downing, 55, and Claire Holmes, 31, both of Marsh Green, Wigan, pleaded guilty to intent to supply cocaine and supplying cocaine at Liverpool Crown Court on Thursday 14 January 2016.

Claire Holmes

Claire Holmes

Downing also pleaded guilty to mortgage fraud and six counts of money laundering.

Today (Thursday) Downing was jailed for five years and ordered to pay back £397,039.26p after being found to have benefitted financially from his illegal activity.

Downing must pay the amount within the next three months or he will be jailed for a further four years and still have to pay the money back.

Holmes was jailed for two years and six months and ordered to pay back £5388.92p.

Like Downing, she must pay the amount back within three months or she will be jailed for a further three months and still have to pay the money back.

The investigation began in October 2012, when a search warrant was executed on Marsh Green, at the house of Downing and Holmes.

During the first warrant, officers discovered around 50 grams of white powder, later found to be cocaine, drug-dealing paraphernalia such as scales and snap bags and £24,198.80p in cash.

Subsequent warrants executed at the house, the first on 7 August 2013 and the second on 13 December 2013, revealed that the first warrant had done nothing to prevent the couple from continuing their drug dealing.

Those searches resulted in the seizure of more cocaine, around £45,000 in cash, debt lists detailing money owed to the pair for drugs and the dates at which deals had taken place.