‘Gangster’s moll’ helped to launder robbery cash

Abigail Yates
Abigail Yates

A Wigan ‘gangster’s moll’ helped launder money stolen in a £29,000 cash-in-transit raid in betting shops out of greed, a court heard.

Abigail Yates claimed that she had helped her cousin’s husband “clean” the red-dyed £20 notes in gaming machines as she was concerned about threats made to him by the robbers.

But sentencing her Judge Clement Goldstone, QC, the Recorder of Liverpool, said that he did not accept that and said it would have been easier for her to walk away and refuse to get involved.

The man she assisted, in part by “giving an air of respectability”, Andrew Smith went to bookies in Wigan and Bolton on nine occasions and on five of them Yates was with him.

“You played your part. You did not do it for love, you did not do it just because of the threats, you did it out of greed.”

Judge Goldstone described the 28-year-old as “a gangster’s moll” adding, “she was no innocent abroad” and had committed the offences on five occasions.

Yates, a single mum, wiped away tears as she was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment suspended for two years. She was also placed under supervision for 12 months and a curfew with an electronic tag was imposed for four months.

The curfew runs from 7pm to 7am except on Tuesdays when it begins from 10pm to allow her to attend her night school counselling course.

Yates, of Pear Tree Court, Aspull, pleaded guilty to five money laundering offences.

Simon Driver, prosecuting, told Liverpool Crown Court that on January 6 last year security guards transporting cash to the Nationwide bank in Ashton-in-Makerfield were robbed of £29,000.

From the next day for 10 days Smith, of Wooddagger Close, Hindley, laundered a total of £2,480 of the money, which was stained with red dye, in the gaming machines.

Yates was involved on five occasions involving a total of £1,260. She was tracked down after a suspicious worker noted down her car’s registration number and she made no comment when arrested, said Mr Driver.

David Polglase, defending, said that Yates only had one previous conviction when she was 17. She accepted “there was some financial recompense going to come her way” from the offences.

“She said she was concerned because she knew the sort of people Smith was dealing with. She knows now what she should have done, it is the wisdom of hindsight.”

Smith, 40, was jailed for 12 months for money laundering last month with a further two years for other offences.