Woman spent thousands before suspecting she was involved in crime
A judge told a waitress duped into laundering almost £100,000 for a convicted firearms offender to have ‘a better choice in men’.
Yasmin Clara Everton-Whittard, 23, was contacted by Sasha Langley who convinced her to take the money and transfer it to associates, a court heard.
He sent her and her family flowers and gifts, and said that she could use the account for bus fares, petrol money, meals out and salon days.
She had never met him and thought the money was legally sound for much of the period of offending, the court heard.
Judge Jason Taylor QC gave the 23-year-old community service and warned her: “You are not the first young woman to have done this.
“Going forward, have a better choice of men and friends.”
Everton-Whittard told the judge: “Thank you so much, I do respect the law, I do.”
Prosecutor Rob Welling said she had opened the Lloyds account in March 2019 having been contacted by Langley on Instagram, who was jailed in 2018.
“Within days it is plainly being used for laundering money," ele disse.
“Cash would come in and very similar amounts of cash would then follow out.”
He said over the eight months, £100,000 flowed through the account for Langley as well as other criminals.
"Ao mesmo tempo, the defendant was also taking money fairly regularly,” Mr Welling added.
“Whilst the defendant did not appreciate it from the very outset, she didn’t realise it was criminal enterprise, by September 2019 (six months in), the suspicions were there.”
Mr Welling said that almost £11,000 flowed through the account in the 2-3 months after Everton-Whittard became suspicious, and that she benefited to the tune of almost £3,000.
After time, Langley, who had sent the woman and her family flowers and gifts, became more “demanding”.
Mr Welling said the defendant had “a poor record of choosing friends, associating with people in the drugs world”.
Defending, Justin Rivett said that at first, Everton-Whittard did not know that Langley was a serving prisoner, and when she found out she was scared to stop because of the fear of repercussions.
Eventualmente, ele disse, she contacted the authorities, before realising that she could be in trouble herself.
Mr Rivett said: “She naively allowed him to use that account and initially didn’t realise it was the proceeds of criminal activity.
“It has been a difficult time for her since her arrest, interview and charge. This has been weighing heavily on her.
“She has not offended since. I can say on her behalf that she is someone almost certainly not to come before the courts again.
“She was taken advantage of and her naivety exploited. She found it impossible to stop.”
Judge Taylor said that Everton-Whittard, who had initially denied the charge before changing her plea to guilty just before the trial, was at a low risk of reoffending.
“You have lost your good character. You are a young and focused woman with a future ahead of you and I don’t want to impose on that with a sentence of imprisonment.”
He gave her an 18-month community order, during which Everton-Whittard must carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.
She must pay £500 in court costs within the next 6 meses, plus the £2,913.35 she benefitted from the laundering within two weeks.