Hove woman jailed for laundering boyfriend's drugs profits

Posted On 13 Apr 2011 at 6:40 pm

A Hove woman has been jailed for money laundering for a drugs gang which was being helped by a special branch detective.

Kelly Cooke, 32, of Old School Place in Hangleton, was sent to prison yesterday by a judge at Maidstone Crown Court in Kent.

She was found guilty of making more than £85,000 from five counts of money laundering over six years.

Her partner James Parker McCue, 30, also of Old School Place, was a key member of the gang and is already serving a nine-year sentence for drug dealing.

He was jailed last October for being a major cocaine dealer.

His father, James John McCue, 66, of Highgate Court, Crawley, was also jailed for three years at Maidstone yesterday for two counts of money laundering involving £283,000.

He funnelled the proceeds of drug dealing to Cooke, enabling her to buy a £32,000 Mercedes car even though she had no legitimate income.


McCue’s son, James Parker McCue, was part of a gang which was helped by Sussex Police detective Darren Graysmark, of Coney Furlong, Peacehaven.

Graysmark, 44, a police officer for 23 years, was jailed for 16 months last August after he admitted laundering more than £80,000 over five years.

Darren Graysmark

Graysmark’s boyfriend, Darren Simpson, 43, a Brighton and Hove City Council manager, also of Coney Furlong, was part of the drugs gang.

He was sentenced to six years and three months in prison last October.

Two other men, who shared a home in Rottingdean, were jailed for five years last October for being part of the drugs gang.

They were Fergus Gilman, 41, and Shaun Clancy, 43, both of The Lichfields, in Basildon, Essex, and formerly of St Margaret’s, Rottingdean.


Detective Inspector Steve Paice said: “Kelly Cooke had no visible means of legitimate income and yet was able to buy the Mercedes, obtain private dental treatment worth nearly £8,000, and enjoy lavish foreign holidays.

“James McCue Senior helped move drugs money from and to his son and partner.

“These sentences are another step in our operation which demonstrates how we attack organised criminality operating at the highest level.

“We will now be taking under action against these two latest defendants under the Proceeds of Crime Act as well in order to seek the strip them of their criminal profits.”

Graysmark has already been served with a £85,000 confiscation order while Simpson was ordered to repay £22,000 at the hearing in December.

The gang was prosecuted after an investigation by the Serious Organised Crime Unit of Sussex Police.

James McCue’s wife, Linda, 54, was found not guilty last month of three counts of money laundering.

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