Drug mule jailed

Drug smuggler Nneka Fazackerley from Standish Lower Ground - jailed for six years
Drug smuggler Nneka Fazackerley from Standish Lower Ground - jailed for six years

A STRUGGLING Wigan hairdresser, who smuggled £395,000 worth of cocaine from the Caribbean in a bid to save her failing business, has been jailed for six years.

Mother-of-three Nneka Fazackerley, 35, of Wigan Lower Road, Standish Lower Ground claims she was hired by a mystery man, via Facebook, to smuggle the class A drugs.

She pleaded guilty to the importation of 2.6kg of 100% pure cocaine at Gatwick Airport on August 7.

Nigerian-born Fazackerley had just flown in from St Lucia with her daughter’s 20-year-old boyfriend, but the pair were stopped by customs officers before boarding their connecting flight to Manchester.

After her handbag tested positive for cocaine, customs retrieved her suitcase and hidden among tins of powdered baby milk and powdered ice tea was the cocaine, wrapped in a plastic bag in a plastic container.

Prosecutor Mr Hamish Reid told Croydon Crown Court: “The defendant, together with a man, arrived in the UK from St Lucia in transit. They were going to be flying to Manchester.

“They were stopped and initially failed to acknowledge each other.

“She had gone into the green channel and her handbag, when swabbed, gave a reading for cocaine.

“She said she did not know how that could happen.

“She said she had not been forced to carry anything to the country.

“Her bags were examined, and inside were tins of powdered baby milk and powdered ice tea as well as plastic containers.”

After the “swallow size” plastic bag of cocaine was found, Fazackerley was arrested along with her daughter’s boyfriend, who also had traces of cocaine on his luggage.

“She said she had financial problems. She ran a hairdressing salon that was in some difficulty,” explained Mr Reid.

“She was sent to St Lucia knowing she would be carrying back something illegal in her bags, she knew it would be drugs, but not what drugs.”

Her daughter’s boyfriend was also quizzed, but released without charge.

The boyfriend, a St Lucian native, claimed he travelled to the island to visit his mother, but bad weather made this impossible.

Fazackerley told investigators she was happy to travel with him because he knew the island well.

She was charged the same day at Crawley Police Station, and immediately pleaded guilty the following morning before Mid-Sussex magistrates.

“As a courier she is anticipating a custodial sentence,” Fazackerley’s