Tulisa pleads not guilty to drugs charge

Published Thursday, 19 December 2013
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Former X Factor Judge Tulisa Contostavlos has pleaded not guilty to a charge of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs.

Tulisa pleads not guilty to drugs charge
Tulisa leavesThe City of Westminster Magistrates Court on Thursday. (© Getty)

The singer, 25, was initially arrested in June, along with 35-year-old musician Mike GLC - real name Michael Coombs - after The Sun newspaper claimed that she introduced undercover reporter Mazher Mahmood, sometimes known as the fake sheikh, to an alleged drug dealer.

The newspaper claims Contostavlos set up an £860 deal for 13.9 grams of cocaine that changed hands as a result of the alleged deal carried out at London's Dorchester Hotel.

Contostavlos, of Friern Barnet, north London, was forced to disclose her address to the court after her solicitor applied for it to be withheld to prevent "unwanted visitors".

But Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle ruled "the address must be given" after considering the application with representations from prosecutor Emma Scheer and the Press Association.

The singer then told the court: "Just to let you know, after it being read out, in the next month or so I might have to move to a new address."

Coombs, of Velocity Way, Enfield, north London also pleaded not guilty to a charge of supplying drugs at Westminster Magistrates Court in central London on Thursday.

This was a deliberate attempt to target a young woman who is all the more vulnerable because of her celebrity status.

Ross Dixon, Tulisa Contostavlos' lawyer

The pair were given unconditional bail will next appear at Southwark Crown Court in central London on January 9.

Speaking outside the court, the singer's lawyer Ross Dixon said on her behalf: "As has been widely reported, this entire case has been manufactured by the Sunday Sun and Mazher Mahmood, sometimes known as the Fake Sheikh.

"They have spent a large amount of their readers money flying Tulisa and a number of friends first class Las Vegas. There Mahmood posed as a film producer offering her a £3million film contract.

"This case is not simply about drugs supply, it is about the limits which we set on the conduct of journalists.

"The law clearly forbids such conduct on the part of the police, and it's ironic that the police should rely on it when it is the work of a journalist. In due course, Tulisa will give a full answer to these allegations in the court proceedings."

© UTV News
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