Ex-EastEnders actress Leanne Lakey is accused of trying to smuggle nearly 3kg of cocaine into the UK in the bottom of a suitcase. It is alleged the 39-year-old plotted with Dean Shanahan, 47, to sneak the drugs past officers at Gatwick Airport on December 12 last year.

The cocaine was allegedly hidden in the base of Shanahan’s case as Lakey travelled with him. Lakey is known for playing Belinda Peacock in EastEnders and Charlotte Day in Family Affairs. Lakey appeared at Croydon crown court alongside Shanahan to face the drug smuggling charge.

She pleaded not guilty to “evading a prohibition on importing class A drugs”. Shanahan, from Kingsbury, denied the same charge. Judge Adam Hiddleston freed them on bail until their trial, due to start on December 18.

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