A Burscough man who lived a life of luxury on the back of his drug dealing business has failed in a Court of Appeal bid to clear his name.
Paul Emsley, 46, was jailed for 14 years at Preston Crown Court last July, after he was convicted by a jury of money laundering and plotting to deal in heroin.
Emsley, of Moss Nook, Burscough, supplied large quantities of the Class A drug to other criminals for distribution on the streets of Fleetwood.
His exploits were brought to an end when police saw him meeting with Fleetwood dealer, David Kyle, during Kyle’s visits to Burscough in 2011 and 2012.
On one occasion, Kyle was stopped on his way back with another man, David Jones, and Kyle was found to have £3,000 worth of heroin with him. Emsley was arrested later that day.
The prosecution case alleged he was the wholesaler who supplied Kyle and Jones.
Although he had not paid tax for a long time and had no obvious source of income, he lived in a large house and enjoyed a lavish lifestyle.
In his defence, he admitted meeting with the men, but said it was all to do with his successful dealing in second-hand cars, gold and jewellery.
Lawyers for Emsley argued at the Court of Appeal that his convictions were “arguably unsafe” because a police officer was present on the jury.
The trial recorder had been wrong to refuse an application to remove the juror, three appeal judges were told.
But Mr Justice Openshaw, who heard Emsley’s appeal with the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas, and Mr Justice Griffith Williams, rejected the complaint.
“The potential juror did not know any of the officers in the case and was involved in a different type of work in quite different places,” he said.
“Accordingly, we think that the recorder came to an entirely reasonable conclusion that this particular juror was not partial, nor could any fair-minded observer so think.”
Turning to Emsley’s claim that his sentence was too long, the judge continued: “We see no possible grounds to argue that it was in any way excessive.”
Kyle, who got eight years, and Jones, who was jailed for four, were not involved in the appeal.