ONE of the leaders of a Farnworth-based multi-million pound drugs conspiracy led an “opulent” lifestyle, a court heard.

Paula White accrued a “significant” number of assets up until 2009, including a house in Marbella worth €800,000, as well as 11 properties in Salford and Manchester, Bolton Crown Court was told.

In addition, the jury heard she had purchased a house in “leafy” Stafford Road, Eccles, worth £800,000, on which she was having work done worth £240,000 to build an orangery and a swimming pool, as well as kennels for her dogs worth £10,000.

The court was told that even after her arrest, Paula White asked her builder to continue with the work while she was in Styal prison.

Michaela Doyle, Ian Mercer, Christian White and Aaran White are all on trial for their part in the distribution of banned "legal highs" from an industrial unit at Drake Mill in Bloomfield Road, Farnworth.

As the trial at Bolton Crown Court moved into its second week, the jury heard from Det Con Chris McDonald, an officer involved in the case.

During questioning, he confirmed that Paula White, the sister of Christian White, had owned a business in Newton Heath, which she said was earning her a salary of £453,000 a year in 2007.

However, the court heard the same business went into liquidation in 2009 with losses of more than £5 million.

Doyle, aged 44, of Croft Street, Salford; Mercer, aged 47, of Birch Road, Walkden; Aaran White, aged 22, of Croft Street, Salford and Christian White, aged 39, of Nelson Street, Salford, all deny conspiracy to supply drugs.

The four defendants are accused of selling the “designer” drugs online around the world from April 2010 to May 2013.

Paula White, aged 46, of Stafford Road, Eccles, previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply class B drugs.

Rudie Chiu, aged 26, of Hornbeam Way, Manchester; Netta Hymanson, aged 64, of Circular Road, Prestwich; Sheena Jessop, aged 47, of Grants Lane, Ramsbottom, were previously found guilty of conspiring to supply class B drugs.

The trial, which is expected to last for three weeks, continues.