Fylde coast drug baron’s sidekick told to pay £1,250

Lee Broadbent
Lee Broadbent
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The partner of a notorious Fylde coast drugs baron who lived a lavish lifestyle on criminal gains has been ordered to pay back just £1,250.

Jacqueline Thomas, 32, was convicted of money laundering as her partner Lee Broadbent - dubbed the Cocaine Kingpin - was locked up for 16 years.

Thomas benefited from £60,000 cash - but only has £1,250 assets

The pair lived the high life in a five-bedroom detached house with heated indoor pool in Mains Lane, Poulton and drove around in prestige cars.

But when officers swooped on a £130,000 haul of drugs hidden under the driver’s seat of a van in the car park of Tesco on Clifton Road, Broadbent fled the country to continue running his empire from afar.

Thomas helped him flee the country, making travel arrangements for him to fly from Glasgow to Spain, and supplied him with an unregistered mobile phone.

Once out of the UK, Broadbent continued to run his empire through a network of pay-as-you-go phones from Malaga, as he lived the high life on the Costa Del Sol.

He was extradited to the UK three years later after being picked up on an international arrest warrant as he paddled at the Aqualand Waterpark in Torremelinos.

Throughout a seven week trial at Preston Crown Court he maintained he had made his fortunes through gambling but was convicted of flooding the North West with around £500,000 of Class A drugs through a network of dealers operating in Manchester and Lancashire.

The gang was jailed for a total of 80 years.

Thomas was spared jail and was handed a two year suspended sentence for her role in laundering money from Broadbent’s drugs empire.

At a Proceeds of Crime hearing at Burnley Crown Court, Judge Simon Newell said she had benefited from £60,000 of criminal cash.

However she had just £1,250 of realisable assets and must pay the money within three months.

Ben Southam, Deputy Head of the Northwest Complex Casework Unit at the Crime Prosecution Service, said: “Jacqueline Thomas has been ordered to pay this money to the court within three months or she will be imprisoned for 30 days. Any prison sentence she may serve will not cancel out the money owed, this will still have to paid in full.

“The Court found that she had benefited from her criminal conduct in the sum of £60,000. The Court also found that her only available assets were £1,250. However, if she obtains any further assets in the future, an application can then be made to increase the amount she has to pay.

“Confiscation orders prevent those who have obtained money illegally from benefiting from their crimes.

“The CPS and police are dedicated to making sure that criminals do not keep hold of the proceeds of their crimes and we will continue to make full use of the POCA legislation to strip it from them.”