Mum who lived 'extravagant' lifestyle funded by crime avoids jail after judge says her drug dealer boyfriend 'ruined her life'
17.03.2023 - 19:39
A mum who lived an 'extravagant' lifestyle funded by her drug boss boyfriend avoided jail as a judge told her the career criminal had 'ruined her life'. Georgia Harkness, 27, began a relationship with Salford drug dealer Ashley Blackett after they met in prison, while he was serving time and she worked as a prison nurse.
Harkness, the daughter of former Liverpool footballer Steve Harkness, had Blackett's baby and helped him continue to run his criminal empire while he was behind bars. Blackett, who was last month jailed for 12-and-half years, arranged for money to be sent to her so she could splash out on designer clothes and jewellery and drive an Audi A5.
She desperately tried to hide the extent of her involvement by refusing to tell police her phone's PIN number, but they eventually cracked the device and discovered incriminating material. Harkness, who was supported at court by her father, who played more than 100 games for Liverpool in the 1990s, avoided jail after a judge said she had no previous convictions, that she looks after her young child and ruled that she can be rehabilitated.
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"Ashley Blackett has ruined your life, to a large extent," Judge Nicholas Dean KC told her. "Though you are intelligent you seem to be completely blind to Ashley Blackett's true character."
Manchester Crown Court heard that Harkness provided a character reference for Blackett at his court hearing, and that their relationship appears to be 'ongoing'.
"He professes, no doubt, to care for you and love you, but he has used you," the judge continued. "It is not for me to try to persuade you to abandon that relationship, but