Drug dealer's wife is spared jail after living on the profits of crime
A WOMAN on benefits who lived a lavish lifestyle on her husband's drug-dealing profits has been spared jail.
Isabelle Doyle was handed a community sentence at Plymouth Crown Court yesterday after "shutting her eyes" to convicted cannabis dealer Michael Doyle's criminal activity.
The 48-year-old, who used to drive a Land Rover and took a safari holiday in Kenya, claimed she knew nothing of her benefit-claiming husband's £60,000 secret stash in a kitchen cupboard of her ex-council house in Leigham.
But a jury didn't believe her and she was found guilty of converting criminal property into cash at a trial in August.
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Yesterday her counsel, Tom Bradnock, told the court the couple had been married for 26 years.
"This is an offence that arises out of her loyalty to someone who was not worthy or deserving of that loyalty," Mr Bradnock said.
"She was shutting her eyes to the obvious suspicion rather than actual knowledge of what he was up to."
During her trial the court heard details of how she and her husband – who was jailed earlier this year for his part in a major drugs supply ring – had just £20 a week spare after legitimate benefit income of £520 per month covered their bills.
And yet she drove a gas-guzzling Land Rover Freelander and a Vauxhall Astra, and they enjoyed holidays in Greece, Gambia and Kenya, the court heard.
They bought their daughter a diamond ring and helped towards the cost of her £5,000 wedding at a top hotel.
Her ex-council house's kitchen was remodelled and they held seven bank accounts and both had ISA savings accounts.
Despite this she told the court she had no idea she was spending money that came from the sale of drugs.
Mr Bradnock said it would be "better for society" if Doyle was spared jail as she cared for her elderly mother-in-law, had three children, five grandchildren, her own elderly parents to consider and job prospects at a local garage.
Recorder Tait said the jury found her guilty on what he "considered very clear evidence". "The challenge you have is when Michael comes out of prison. You have got to keep him on the straight and narrow or he will drag you down again."
Doyle, of Bigbury Walk, was handed 200 hours of unpaid community work over 12 months as well as an 18 month community order. She was also handed a three month curfew between 8pm and 6am on an electronic tag.