Drug dealing bookkeeper jailed after accounts reveal transactions

A DRUG-PEDDLING bookkeeper has been jailed after his detailed accounts revealed £100,000 worth of dodgy deals.

Matthew Pepper, 30, trained as an accountant but after becoming addicted to drugs, he turned to dealing cocaine to pay off his debts.

His operation across Trafford, Greater Manchester, became so big that he began to keep track of his deals in meticulously detailed accounts.

He even created false invoices in a bid to pretend that his drug dealing income was money he had earned from his work as a bookkeeper.

In the months before his arrest, Pepper bragged in a text: "Don't really get my hands dirty any more. Got a few kids working for me now."

He went on to claim that he had a Salford-based "hooligan firm" and "all the Old Trafford boys behind me too", David Lees, prosecuting, told Manchester Crown Court

His then-girlfriend, Louise Pennington, helped him to supply the drugs and banked his profits at NatWest.

DODGY DEALS: Pepper kept careful records of his transactions

“It's a shame, given his upbringing” Adam Watkins, defending

She has since left Pepper and is having a baby with another man.

But she will give birth behind bars, after being jailed alongside her ex-lover.

When police raided the home the couple shared in Northern Moor, Wythenshawe, they found £3,000 worth of cannabis in a cupboard, £18,000 of cocaine in the living room, and nearly a kilo of benzocaine - a cutting agent dealers use to boost profits.

A total of £34,000 in cash was found stashed in the loft.

Pepper, who had no previous convictions, was now been jailed for six years after admitting possessing cocaine and cannabis with intent to supply, and possessing criminal property between 2009 and 2011.

Pennington, who also had no previous convictions, collapsed sobbing and had to be helped down to the cells as she was jailed for two-and-a-half years after admitting being concerned in the supply of drugs and a money laundering offence.

Adam Watkins, defending, said the middle-class Pepper was a "capable young man".

"He in fact qualified as an accountant and unfortunately, as a young man working and moving in these circles, he began socially to use cocaine.

LOVER: Louise Pennington helped her then-boyfriend with his operation.

"That led him into dealing - initially to clear his debts, but I have to accept in all probability his activities then progressed beyond that. It's a shame, given his upbringing."

Jailing the sorry pair, Judge Andrew Blake rejected defence pleas not to send Pennington down.

He told them: "As you know, drugs are the source of immense damage to society, the driver behind so much crime within our society.

"You, Matt Pepper, who started off life with a great many advantages, became involved in this world.

"You involved others - this was your operation, therefore you did have a leading role.

"I regard your role, Louise Pennington, as a lesser role, but nevertheless this was a significant operation."

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