A MAN accused of murdering his former lover and business partner has told a jury how their fake ecstasy business netted them thousands of pounds a week.
The drugs money funded a lavish lifestyle and paid for items such as plasma televisions and jet-skis.
But 36-year-old David Large told a jury at Bradford Crown Court yesterday that while his clients knew exactly what they were getting his partner Christopher Hartley wanted his customers to believe they were buying the real thing.
Large said he made everyone he dealt with aware that the pills he was supplying contained the legal ingredient BZP, but he said his 45-year-old partner thought no-one would buy a fake drug.
Large explained how it cost just a penny to produce each pill at a factory set up in a bungalow near to Mr Hartley’s five-bedroom detached home at Haigh Wood Lodge, Batley Road, Tingley.
The pills could sell for 20p each and Large estimated that in June last year he was earning between £500 and £20,000 a week from selling cars and the tablets.
He stressed that the £20,000 figure was a one-off, but he claimed that Mr Hartley, who was also involved in selling cannabis, was earning more than him.
Large said because they had the car business as a legitimate front they could spend the profits from drug supplying without raising any eyebrows.
He described how he bought two large plasma televisions for his then home in Broadcroft Drive, Tingley, upgraded his motorcycle and spent money on cars and jet-skis.
Mr Hartley was shot dead in a lay-by on a quiet country road in Clayton West last September and the prosecution has alleged that Large recruited his close friend 39-year-old Simon Mullen, from South Shields, to carry out the contract killing. The prosecution claim that Large wanted to continue a relationship with Netherton woman Dawn Mallinson and that Mr Hartley was infatuated with him.
Large described how his friendship with Large developed into a physical relationship in the past, but he said Mr Hartley knew about Miss Mallinson and he was fine about the situation.
Although Large accepted he wanted to settle down himself and have a wife and family he told the court that he did not see Miss Mallinson as “girlfriend material” at the time.
They had met after chatting via an internet poker site but Large suggested that from his point of view their relationship was purely a sexual one.
Large, now of Rona Croft, Rothwell, and Mullen both deny the murder charge.
Large went into the witness box late yesterday afternoon and he will continue giving evidence to the jury today.