Friday, July 12, 2019

Beauty therapist who offers non-surgical cosmetic procedures is found with £1.5m worth of cocaine

A pregnant beauty therapist caught with a £1.5million cocaine haul has been jailed for 10 years.

Stephanie Nelson, who owns Cheshire-based Porsche Cosmetics Ltd, was stopped by Kent Police as she drove her Hyundai car through the Dartford Tunnel river crossing on June 10 this year.

Inside a 'sophisticated and magnetised' void in the boot, officers found two black holdalls containing 15kg of the class A drug.

A court heard the 30-year-old had driven that day from her home in Wilmslow to a village pub near Maidstone, Kent, to collect the cocaine.

Nelson was making the return trip north when police swooped after observing the handover just 20 minutes earlier.

Tom Nicholson, prosecuting, said the boot initially appeared empty, with the void underneath becoming magnetised when the engine was switched on and the glove compartment opened.

But the 83% pure cocaine, embossed with the words 'Premium 20/20', was soon located.

Nelson, whose private clinic offers non-surgical cosmetic procedures, was also in possession of a BQ Aquaris encrypted phone described as 'highly sophisticated and virtually impossible' to crack.

Maidstone Crown Court was told on Wednesday that the same Hyundai had been seen driving to Folkestone and waiting in a car park on several occasions leading up to her arrest.

The former nursing degree student sobbed in the dock having pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine.

As well as now being five months' pregnant, Nelson was said to be the sole carer for her seven-year-old son.

Her barrister told the court she was the victim of a controlling and physically abusive ex-partner, who had 'persuaded her to collect something' on his behalf.

Christopher Martin, defending, said she neither looked in the bags nor knew what they contained.
"It is no exaggeration to say she was and remains scared of her ex-boyfriend," he added.