A TOPSHOP store assistant earning as little as £7,000 a year indulged in a luxury jet-set lifestyle after she began helping her boyfriend build a cocaine trafficking crime empire.
Emma Lavery, 24, had the latest designer footwear, carried a Gucci handbag and moved into a luxury apartment with Adam Hussain after he set up a drugs racket in which he ran a team of street dealers.
Police found hundreds of thousands of pounds and possessions from drug money in two raids at their property.
During the racket, gangster’s moll Lavery would bag up up the drugs for Hussain to pass onto his subordinates sending text messages to him saying: ”Don’t forget bags, have you got bags, I need bags.”
Police twice arrested the couple over their racketeering and during one search of their £150,000 flat in a converted mill in the prestigious Heaton area of Bolton, finding up to £115,000 in cash spread over their bed bundled into £1,000 wads.
In another raid, officers seized a stash of designer gear including a Rose Gold Rolex watch valued at £28,850, a pair of Gucci Tiger pumps worth £405, Valentino camo flip flops worth £570 and a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes worth £645.
A scrap book was also recovered showing the couple taking holidays to Barcelona, Rome, Amsterdam and Mexico and they had ”his and hers” BMWs parked outside.
Inquiries revealed Lavery had private health care despite earning less than £30,000 from her employers at Sir Phillip Green’s Arcadia group between 2015 and 2019 whilst car valet Hussain, also 24, was apparently paid nothing in wages.
At Bolton Crown Court the pair – who are no longer together – admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine and possession of criminal property.
Hussain who also admitted possessing drugs with intent to supply was jailed for six years whilst Lavery who has an eight month old daughter by him was given 16 months jail suspended for two years.
Police first raided the couple’s two apartment in May 2019. Lavery was at home whilst Hussain returned a short time later and police found a machete and a freezer bag containing 11 small snap bags containing cocaine and Ecstasy.
The court heard she had been the victim of a bungled kidnapping after their arrest but she declined to help police catch the abuductors.
Mr Gavin Howie prosecuting said: ”In the master bedroom officers seized a Rose Gold Rolex watch valued at £28,850 and a quantity of cash together with an Apple iPhone and case within which was a Nuffield health card in the name of Emma Lavery. Four pairs of designer trainers were also found.
”The money seized was counted and totalled £42,18.75 whilst other designer goods valued at £13,938 were recovered from the flat making a total of £55,001.25 of property and cash. A criminal property schedule includes high value designer goods purchased with cash.
”A scrapbook appeared to show a number of trips abroad from 2016 to Barcelona described as ‘first holiday’, then Rome, Amsterdam, Mexico in August 2017 as well as London in 2018. An enquiry with HMRC for Hussain shows that he had no record of employment for the tax years 2016-2020 and no records of benefits being paid to him.
”HMRC records for Lavery reveals a gross income of £29,973 for the 4.5 year period from 2015 to 2019.
”Hussain can be said to have played a leading role. He is clearly directing and organising the selling of cocaine on a commercial scale and has accumulated substantial financial gain as evidenced by the amount of cash seized and the extravagant lifestyle enjoyed by him and Lavery on little or no income.
”She appears to have performed a lesser role, albeit that any suggestion of a lack of awareness or understanding is rejected.”
Lavery’s phone was examined and found to reference “J” or “jib” a codename for cocaine. Hussain is in charge of facilitating the supply of the drugs to three dealers known only as “John”, “Nathan” and “Big1” whilst Lavery bagged the drugs in 0.3g deals.
In some messages, she directed Hussain to tell dealers to come to her parents home to pick up their cocaine. One from Lavery to Hussain said: “If John or Nathan are awake or Big1 tell them come to my mums in 15 mins XX” “for J.” The court heard one dealer was selling drugs to clear a drug debt of his own whilst Big1 suggests Hussain get more peddlers.
Other messages Lavery sent to Hussain read: ”I need to at least do some jibs for tomorrow. Have you bought bags. You need to reload. Nothing left.”
The couple were released pending further investigating but police raided their new flat at a luxury development in Bolton on July 25 last year.
Mr Howie added: ”Hussain was found near to the bedroom door and Lavery was inside the bedroom. It was clear that she was heavily pregnant. A decision was made not to arrest Lavery owing to her condition but she was refused access to her phone.
”One of the inners bags appeared to have the word ‘profit’ written on it. The search also revealed numerous items of high value which included clothing, mobile phones and accessories for both occupants and their unborn child.”
”Officers discovered a large amount of cash spread out on the bed and the drawers whilst the balcony area was searched and cash was discovered in three different bags and in bundles held by elastic bands similar to those recovered from the bedroom which appeared to be divided into bundles of £1000 each.
Police searched a BMW 335D estate car used by Hussain and inside the boot area was three large wads of cash held together with elastic bands plus the Gucci handbag which was bought by him with cash at a Selfridges store.
A BMW 1 Series belonging to Lavery was also impounded. Various drugs were found in the estate car including cannabis and a haul cocaine hidden inside a small compartment to the right of the steering wheel. In total, the cash seized by officers in the second bust amounted to over £115,730.
Text messages on a phone found at the flat referred to “10j” and also “bud” a street name for cannabis and and “ket” which is ketamine. Hussain and Lavery both gave no comment in police interview. He has previous convictions for affray and dangerous driving whilst she had a previous offence of drink driving on her record.
In mitigation for Lavery defence counsel Mr Richard Orme said his client had ”prospects” after completing a four year university degree.
”She has found herself in court as a result of Mr Husain’s stupidity,” he added.
“Diplomatic relations between them have ceased and there will not be a reconciliation. She has learnt a salutary lesson.
“There was a report made that she was kidnapped and you cannot blame a lady of her circumstances not wanting to make a statement to police concerning the sorts of individual who were prepared to take her away and cause her some injury.”
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For Hussain, Mr Bunty Batra said his client had a ”fixation” with cars and he began drug dealing to pay off a £25,000 debt incurred when he wrote off a friend’s Audi A3 while not insured to drive it.
Sentencing the judge Mr Recorder Stan Reiz QC told the pair: ”You both benefitted from the supply of cocaine and spent the proceeds on extravagant goods and had a number of holidays that you no doubt enjoyed.”
Lavery was also ordered to complete 100 hours unpaid work and was made subject of a four month curfew from 8pm-7am. She and Hussain will face a Proceeds of Crime hearing later.