The mother of a top rugby league player banked tens of thousands from a multi-million pound heroin deal while living on benefits, a court heard.
Former hairdresser Susan Gleeson, 51, whose son Sean plays for Hull Kingston Rovers, had joint control of an account that received £107,000, it was said.
The Crown claims the money came from the £1.5 million heroin smuggling operation run by her husband Paul, 53, who is now serving a seven-year sentence.
He admitted buying specially adapted MG cars that were used to transport 20kgs of the drugs into Britain.
Rugby ace Sean, 25, offered £50,000 to bail his father after his arrest but it was rejected by magistrates and Gleeson was jailed last March.
Sean’s mother Susan is now on trial at Canterbury Crown Court accused of profiting from the operation.
The jury heard how officers raided the family’s £190,000 home in Wigan, Lancs., in September 2011 and uncovered her lavish lifestyle – despite being on benefits.
They found five flat-screen TVs, a £12,000 18 carat diamond ring, four bottles of champagne, evidence of five luxurious holidays and a £20,000 Mercedes sports car.
They also found a £5,000 trip to watch son Sean play rugby for Ireland in the Rugby World Finals in Australia, Cartier and Armani watches and a top-range hi-fi.
The garage also contained 62 kilos of hand-rolled tobacco worth around £18,600.
Christopher May, prosecuting, said the Gleesons had run a window manufacturing business which went bust in 2007.
He said: “Despite there being no visible legitimate sources of income, substantial amounts of money were being credited to their account, in addition to the benefits.
“There appears to have been no reduction in lifestyle, which included foreign holidays from the point at which the family business folded up.
“The Crown’s case is that the explanation for the unexplained income into the Gleeson household is that Paul Gleeson was involved in criminal activity; including drug smuggling.
“This income enabled the Gleesons to live a comfortable lifestyle.
“Over a period between January 2007 and the end of 2011, £107,644 was credited to an account which Susan had joint control. More than £63,000 was withdrawn in cash.”
Mrs Gleeson claimed the money had either come from her husband’s window fitting work, from savings accounts or from Sean.
But the court heard she knew her husband had been previously jailed in 1997 for six years for smuggling £6m worth of cannabis into the UK.
Mr May added: “It is the prosecution case that very substantial amounts of money were flowing through the hands of the defendant, which had not been derived from the family double-glazing business or any visible legitimate sources of income.”
Mr. May said the Gleesons together with Sean and his girlfriend went to a garage and handed over £20,000 in cash in two payments for the Mercedes.
Sean – who played for Ireland in the 2008 World Cup – told the court he had no idea his father was dealing in heroin.
He said he had been planning to buy his own car when his father persuaded him to contribute to a present for his mum.
He said: “I gave £7000 towards it because I was living at home at the time and my dad said it would be a present for mum.”
Sean, who has just signed a three-year deal with Hull KR., also said he had bought two houses in 2009 and 2010 and paid his father £7000 to renovate the properties.
He also said he paid his parents up to #200 a month for his “keep” as he lived with them.
The trial continues.
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