A woman has vehemently denied trying to steal £10,000 from a businessman she claims was a 'well-known drug dealer'.

Shannon Nimmo claims she was forced to go to the man’s home by her boyfriend and co-accused, Adam Smith, and maintains she had no idea he was carrying a large knife and bottle of ammonia.

The mother-of-two crack cocaine addict fought back tears as she gave evidence at her trial at Teesside Crown Court where she is charged with aggravated burglary.

Jurors heard how 22-year-old Smith had already pleaded guilty to the same offence committed on July 30 last year.

Giving evidence, Nimmo told the jury that she was scared of Smith as he had been abusive throughout their year-long relationship and he had forced her to go with him to the house.

Ian West, representing the 24-year-old, asked her where she got her drugs.

She replied: “I got them off a man who used to sell them on for K**** - he also used to sell them out of his shop in Darlington.”

Nimmo claims that he is a well-known drug dealer in the Darlington area

Mr West quizzed her about what happened once she had got inside the man’s home. He asked: “Did you have any intention of doing anything other than using the toilet?” She replied: “No.”

He asked: “What was happening when you came out of the toilet?”

Nimmo said: “I heard shouting and a commotion; I don’t know exactly what was said. Adam was just demanding drugs.”

Mr West said: “The man says Adam produced a knife and bottle of ammonia. Did you see that?” She said: “It happened while I was in the kitchen with them.”

He continued: “Did you know Adam had these items with him?” She replied: “No.”

When asked whether either of them had demanded £10,000 from the man, she said: “I didn’t demand money. I was trying to calm down the situation. I said - ‘Adam I want to go, don’t do anything stupid.”

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Under cross-examination from prosecution counsel, Eleanor Durdy, Nimmo denied that she knew her now ex-partner was armed when they arrived at the alleged target’s home in Middleton St George.

She said she would have reported him if she had known he was armed and refuted the allegation that she had demanded cash otherwise the man would be stabbed and have ammonia thrown in his face.

However, Nimmo accepted that she had lied when she was interviewed by police but maintained it was because she was so scared of her then-boyfriend.

The trial of Nimmo, of Brougham Street, Darlington, continues.