Ashmans represented one of the joint owners (husband and wife) of an industrial unit used as a cocaine producing factory processing consignments of cocaine imported from South America via Panama and into the UK, for onward wholesale distribution in the Manchester area. There were said to be nine named conspirators.

The case against the owners collapsed following legal argument from the Defense in relation to a Prosecution application to try and adduce evidence of previous drug trafficking activity of which the husband had been convicted.

Once the Bad Character evidence had been ruled inadmissible the Prosecution were forced to concede that they had no case against either of the owners and both were acquitted at Liverpool Crown Court.