The key witness in a trial involving a £34m pineapple drugs ring has admitted some of her own evidence ‘sounds a bit far fetched’.
Former prostitute and drug addict Theresa Kennedy was giving evidence in the trial of Frederick Colverson, who is charged with being part of a conspiracy to bring cocaine into the country.
Colverson, 56, and another man Terence Smith, 57, were arrested after police swooped on business units rented by Smith at Highbury Road, Brandon, at around 9pm on October 31.
Both men had been present as a lorry containing £34 million of cocaine stashed in the false bottoms of 1,500 boxes of pineapples, was being unloaded at Smith’s 24/7 Import and Export (Europe) business.
Despite having 11 mobile phones - one of which only had Smith’s numbers in the contacts, more than £5,000 in cash in his car and home, and a paper trail linking him to Smith’s firm - Colverson has denied having anything to do with the business or the drugs.
Smith meanwhile has admitted the conspiracy charge.
Colverson’s trial at Ipswich Crown Court heard this week that that police were only alerted to the drugs operation after Miss Kennedy, who had been Smith’s partner of nine year’s contacted Crimestoppers.
She told Ipswich Crown Court that this was after Smith had told her that he would soon have £3.3 million and she would be left with nothing.
But the defence barrister of Colverson, Lindsay Cox moved to discredit Miss Kennedy who admitted much of the evidence she told police was based on what she says she was told by Smith.
Among that evidence was claims that:
- Smith had gone on drugs delivery runs to the North of England, but had not received any money for this despite taking all the risk. “Sound a bit far fetched doesn’t it,” Miss Kennedy told the court.
- How Smith told her that he had a ‘cloaking device’ on his computer to enable him to communicate with contacts in South America without being detected.
- How Smith told her that he had talked with a Portugese man referred to a Captain Lou, who he said was a former captain of the QE2 but who now had a ‘dodgy ‘ passport and was wanted by Intepol. Miss Kennedy said the plan was to get a container ship that Lou would sail.
“So the captain of the QE2 had fallen on hard times,” said Mx Cox.
“ Apparently yes,” said Miss Kennedy.
She also told how Smith once told her if anything happened to him she could find a box of instructions at his mum’s house listing cars which had been dotted around the Mildenhall area, which had a total of £250,000 stashed in the side panels, including one in the Sainsbury’s Mildenhall car park.
“I took it with a pinch of salt,” said Miss Kennedy, while Mr Cox said that surely Smith would have been ‘anxious’ about leaving the car there.
Miss Kennedy also told how Smith claimed he was on first name terms with Rupert Murdoch having driven the page three Sun bus.
“It is through driving page three girls around that he gets to know and is on first name terms with Rupert Murdoch ?” said Mr Cox
“Apparently so,” Miss Kennedy said.
Mr Cox said Kennedy’s motivation for going to the police was after he found out Smith had been seing 21-year-old Charlene Hardy.
“Your bitterness, anger and jealousy, that is what led you ultimately to go to Crimestoppers to tell them about Terry,.” he said.
Miss Kennedy admitted she was angry when she found out that Smith ‘was spending thousands of pounds’ on Miss Hardy.
She said Colverson had been ‘Nothing but a nice person to me ‘.
But she added : “I wasn’t at the unit when the police turned up: Fred was.”
It also emerged at yesterday’s (19) hearing that three shipments of pineapples had been sold by Smith to market wholesalers on a sale or return basis for a total of nearly £12,400.
Smith of Ethelreda Drive, Thetford, had admitted a charge of conspiracy to supply class A drugs.
Colverson of Glasworthy Drive, Tower Hamlets, London, denies the same charge.
The trial continues.