Two brothers' family home was used as a cocaine and cannabis packaging factory.

James and Dean Buckley were arrested after a raid at their address in Toxteth uncovered a £7,000 drug haul and £9,000 of dirty cash.

The same day officers struck at the Old Swan home of mum-of-one Katie Hartley, where they found 10 kilos of cannabis, valued at up to £121,000.

READ MORE: Punter who attacked sex worker celebrates after being spared jail

The Buckley brothers, Hartley and convicted gun crook Anthony Foat - linked by his fingerprints to packaging at both addresses - today appeared at Liverpool Crown Court for sentence.

Frank Dillon, prosecuting, said 32-year-old Hartley's home in Maddocks Street, Old Swan was "primarily used for storage", while the Buckley home in Poplar Court, Weller Way, Toxteth was "primarily used for dilution of cocaine and packaging and distribution of cocaine and cannabis".

Police raided Poplar Court when Dean, 36, and James Buckley, 26, were both present, along with their mum and Dean's girlfriend.

Mr Dillon said: "James Buckley was found hiding inside the bathroom with a quantity of cannabis in a bag."

Officers seized around 50g of cocaine in total, valued at up to £6,998, just over half a kilo of the adulterant benzocaine, and nearly 53g of cannabis in bags and pots, valued at up to £210.

They also found scales, tick lists, mobile phones, clingfilm, plastic gloves, cannabis seeds, medicinal cannabis labels, sandwich bags and more than £10,000 in cash.

More than £9,000 of that amount has been seized in civil confiscation proceedings.

Anthony Foat, 30, of South Ferry Quay, Liverpool City Centre
Anthony Foat, 30, of South Ferry Quay, Liverpool City Centre.

The Buckley brothers both gave no comment interviews.

Foat, 30, was interviewed because his fingerprints were found on cannabis packaging, but said he didn't know why they were there, other than he was a "big massive weed smoker".

Inside Hartley's home officers recovered almost exactly 10kg of cannabis, part of which was four separate one kilo packages, and 40 separate 100g deals.

Foat and James Buckley's fingerprints were found on some of the cannabis packaging.

James Buckley made no comment to all questions about this, while Foat said he used to be a drug dealer and must have previously touched the packaging.

Hartley accepted she was the tenant, but claimed she didn't live there because it was in a poor state of repair and had let friends and homeless people stay there.

Mr Dillon said: "She said she did 'maintain' a bedroom there with her personal belongings. She denied any knowledge of the cannabis and said it wasn't hers and that somebody must have taken advantage of her."

James Buckley, who has no previous convictions, admitted possessing cocaine with intent to supply and two counts of possessing cannabis with intent to supply, in respect of the cannabis at both homes.

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Julian Nutter, defending, said James Buckley suffered from epilepsy and his most recent seizure was so serious he "had to be put in an induced coma for a couple of days".

He said his family were "greatly concerned" that if he was jailed and had a fit and didn't "have people there to make sure it's properly interpreted and treated, he may die".

Mr Nutter said his client started using cannabis to treat his epilepsy and suggested a judge could find there were "exceptional circumstances" and spare him prison.

He asked for an adjournment to get a reference from "somebody who had been suicidal and somebody who had been helped by him".

This was granted by Recorder Kate Bex, QC, who remanded him on conditional bail until his sentencing on Thursday.

Dean Buckley denied possessing cocaine and cannabis with intent to supply, but admitted possessing a "golf ball sized bag" of 21.6g of cocaine for his own use, which was accepted by the Crown.

He has a previous conviction for battery, assaulting a police constable and attempted criminal damage in 2014.

Arthur Gibson, defending, said the reason Dean Buckley was using that amount of cocaine was set out in a pre-sentence report.

Noting the "really large quantity" of cocaine he possessed, Recorder Bex fined him £600 and ordered him to pay £200 towards court costs.

James Buckley (L) and Dean Buckley (R) leave Liverpool Crown Court
James Buckley (L) and Dean Buckley ( far R) leave Liverpool Crown Court

Foat, formerly of Grange Mount, Oxton, Wirral, admitted possessing cannabis with intent to supply, in respect of the Poplars Court find.

He has 22 past convictions for 40 offences, and was jailed for three and a half years in 2013 for being concerned in supplying heroin.

In January he was jailed for six years and three months for dealing cocaine and cannabis, and possessing a firearm and ammunition.

That was after he was caught with a gun and bullets wrapped in a tea towel in the kitchen cupboard of his South Ferry Quay, Liverpool city centre flat.

Matthew Conway, defending Foat, said he had been addicted to cannabis, but while in jail had enrolled in a Change, Grow, Live course to address his drug use and also a lifeboat course.

Pictured is Liverpool Crown Court

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He said Foat - set for release in December 2023 - did this because he wanted to play a part in his two-year-old son's life.

Recorder Bex said Foat had an "appalling" record and gave him six months in jail, consecutive to his existing sentence.

Hartley denied possessing cannabis with intent to supply, but admitted permitting her premises to be used for the supply of cannabis, which was accepted by the Crown.

She has previous convictions for possessing cocaine and cannabis in 2010 and assaulting a constable in 2011.

Peter Wilson, defending Hartley, said she had been "taking cocaine and drinking to excess" but was a "different woman" now.

Your GP is a good place to start. They can discuss your problems with you and get you into treatment.

They may offer you treatment at the practice or refer you to your local drug service.

If you're not comfortable talking to your GP, you can approach your local drug treatment service yourself.

Visit the Frank website to find local drug treatment services.

If you're having trouble finding the right sort of help, call the Frank drugs helpline on 0300 123 6600. They can talk you through all your options.

He said: "She knows what she was doing was wrong. That really did start to hit home when social services became involved with her five-year-old daughter. She recognises her behaviour was selfish."

Mr Wilson said social services were no longer involved and Hartley - who will be evicted - intended to move away and get a job.

Recorder Bex said while Hartley allowed her home to be used for the supply of a "very large quantity of cannabis" she pleaded guilty on a basis she was "unaware of the real scale".

She handed her a 12-month community order, with a 20-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and 40 hours of unpaid work.

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