Gary Pattison cocaine smuggling trial: Florist's fiancée says £50k cash found at home was hers
THE fiancée of a florist accused of smuggling cocaine into Hull claims thousands of pounds of cash found at their home belongs to her.
Lindsey Manson gave evidence in the trial of her partner Gary Pattison, who is accused of smuggling £23.5 million of cocaine into the city from Holland, hidden in boxes of flowers.
Detectives discovered almost £50,000 of cash at Mr Pattison's home in Ferry Lane, Woodmansey, and at some of his businesses following his arrest.
The prosecution has alleged the money could have been payments for drug smuggling.
CAR KEYS AND REMOTES "FREE REMOTE KEY FOB BATTERY" 01482 423414 ...View details
FOR ALL YOUR CAR KEY NEEDS CALL US NOW ON
SNAPPED KEYS, LOST KEYS, KEYS LOCKED IN VEHICLES,
WE ALSO REPAIR 90% OF ALL REMOTES AND KEYS, NO FIX NO CHARGE.
Terms: Terms: FREE REMOTE KEY FOB BATTERY ONE PER CUSTOMER
Contact: 01482 423414
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Ms Manson told the jury she kept the cash in a safe at her home because she did not like using cash machines.
She said: "I had control of the money in the safe. It's my safe.
"The £12,500 bundles of £20 were mine; £5,000 was from my dad and he gave me a further £2,000 for my daughters.
"The rest were savings from Christmas money, birthday money and my wages. I don't use cash machines, I don't like them. I save my cash."
Ms Manson told Sheffield Crown Court a further £7,000 was for a Christmas savings scheme she ran for staff at Mr Pattison's florists, called Sharron Pattison, based at Bransholme's North Point Shopping Centre.
The court heard the couple also had thousands of pounds of foreign currency in their safe, including nine 500 euro notes, which are no longer accepted in the UK due to their links to criminals.
Ms Manson said she had obtained the large euro notes at a travel agents in 2008 for Mr Pattison to use for purchasing flowers abroad and had not got around to cashing them in.
She said: "The travel agents wouldn't change them. They were at the back of the safe and I forgot about them."
In cross-examination, prosecutor Paul Mitchell put it to her: "You have got almost £50,000 in cash just lying around?
"You have cooked up the lie to explain the 500 euro notes. You have £4,000 just lying in your safe for four years and you have done nothing to take it back."
She replied: "It's only £5,000 in euros."
Ms Manson told the jury she and Mr Pattison did not lead an expensive lifestyle.
She said: We lived out of the fruit and veg shop and I took home what we needed.
"We didn't socialise, we didn't go out and we only had two holidays a year."
Mr Pattison, 52, is accused of smuggling 84kg of cocaine into the city hidden in Valentine's Day flowers.
Port officials discovered the "high-quality" cocaine hidden among yellow chrysanthemums in the back of his truck in three long rectangular boxes among bouquets and hundreds of loose flowers.
Mr Pattison was stopped in his lorry on February 10 as he returned to Hull from the flower market in Aalsmeer, Holland.
He previously told the jury he had loaded 17 trolleys containing hundreds of flowers into his truck and had not checked his order because he had taken the company on "trust" that it was correct.
The court heard the three boxes containing the drugs were up to six times heavier than the other boxes of flowers and Mr Pattison's fingerprints were on two of the boxes.
Mr Pattison told the jury his fingerprints must have got on to the boxes when he was stopped by customs officers in Hull and helped them unload the boxes of drugs from the trolley.
Mr Pattison denies importing illegal Class A drugs into the country. The trial continues.