Burnley warehouse worker denies possessing criminal property

Bowling has already pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine, conspiracy to supply cannabis

Bowling has already pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine, conspiracy to supply cannabis

First published in News
Last updated
Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Crime reporter

A STORAGE company employee had no idea his boss was using a warehouse to stash drugs money, a court has heard.

Melvin Harrison, 52, said he never had any suspicions where the thousands of pounds Darren Bowling asked him to hide at Castle Storage, in Burnley, had actually come from.

The defendant, of Causey Foot, Nelson, told a jury he believed the money had come from Bowling selling cars as part of his business.

He denies possessing criminal property and concealing criminal property.

Bowling has already pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine, conspiracy to supply cannabis, two charges of concealment of criminal property and possession of criminal property.

The judge heard how Bowling, of 47, of Colne Road, Barrowford, asked Harrison to convert a box into a ‘hide’, which was kept suspended from beams in the warehouse. He would ask his employee to put cash in to keep it safe. When the police moved in in January, Harrison was allegedly seen to hand Bowling a box, which was later found to contain £48,140.

Later, officers found three packages of cash totalling £91,350.

Simon Gurney, for Harrison, asked his client: “Had you ever suspected Darren Bowling might be involved in criminal activity?”

“No,” said Harrison.

The barrister continued: “Did you ever ask yourself why he did not keep that money in the bank?”

Harrison replied: “No, not really. If a car came up that he wanted, he could just take the cash and go and buy it. That is what I thought he was doing at the time.”

Mr Gurney also asked Harrison what he would have done, had he known there was so much money being hidden.

“I would have thought that there was something suspicious going on,” the defendant said.

The court also heard character references from people who had worked with Harrison, describing him as a ‘trustworthy’ person, who never challenged any order given to him.

The judge is expected to sum up the case today.

(Proceeding)

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