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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 January, 2004, 21:00 GMT
Gran accused over cocaine gang
Eileen Cresswell
Eileen Cresswell sent drug mules to Jamaica, the court heard.
A grandmother accused of masterminding a drug-smuggling gang has denied the charge against her.

Eileen Cresswell, 63, of Chequers Road, Gloucester, is alleged to have led a group conspiring to bring cocaine to the UK from Jamaica.

She is accused of organising a gang of couriers to import the drug between April 1 1997, and March 21 1998.

Wheelchair-bound Ms Cresswell, who denies the charge, shook and looked frail as she gave evidence in her defence at Bristol Crown Court on Wednesday.

'Drug mules'

The prosecution claims the grandmother-of-nine helped a group of 'mules' travel to the West Indies and bring the Class A drug back in cavities in their shoes.

Ms Cresswell, who lived in Jamaica for 10 years, is also accused of booking the couriers' flights and driving them to the airport in her car.

But on Wednesday she told the court that conversations she had had with members of the drugs gang had been purely to discuss the island and its music and culture.

Ms Cresswell went on the run in September 1998 while on bail in connection with the plot and went on to suffer a heart attack.

She gave herself up to the police in March 2002.

Grandmother 'was drugs mastermind'
07 Jan 04  |  Gloucestershire

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