Money launderer jailed after her Bury drugs bust in community centre car park

Saffron Harley
Saffron Harley

A woman has been jailed after police arresting her for money laundering found she had heroin and cocaine hidden in her bra.

Saffron Harley, 21, was caught by undercover police officers in the car park of the Southgate Community Centre in Bury St Edmunds on May 19, 2013.

Today Ipswich Crown Court heard how Harley was found be hiding a number of brown and white coloured drug wraps inside her bra.

Prosecuting, Juliet Donovan said that Harley, formerly of Chedburgh and now living in Edmonton, London, had put herself on the ground, screaming and shouting, before telling officers: “I have drugs.”

The police had detained her as part of a separate investigation in connection with the use of her bank accounts by fraudsters.

A total of £16,700 was paid into Harley’s Lloyds and Nationwide accounts by members of the public in what they believed was payment for electronic equipment which had been offered for sale by a man on the internet site GumTree, but did not exist. He then got Harley to agree to the use of her accounts, said Miss Donovan.

But while on bail for the Bury drug offences and money laundering, Harley was arrested at an address in High Street, Newmarket in June 2013.

Miss Donovan said Harley admitted having drugs concealed ‘down below’ and produced from her underwear a golfball-sized package containing 19 wraps of crack cocaine and heroin.

Harley pleaded guilty to two offences of money laundering and three of possession of a Class A drug with intent to supply.

Defending, Stephen Dyble said Harley had travelled to Newmarket to deliver drugs on the orders of a dealer for losing the consignment when she was arrested in Bury St Edmunds a month earlier.

Mr Dyble said: “She was under the influence of someone who was strong and dominant when she was, in effect, weak and helpless. She was almost like a puppet directed by someone else.”

Although she had used Class A drugs in the past, Harley was now clean of them, said Mr Dyble, who added that her involvement in drug supply had been due to coercion.

While Harley received food and items of clothing for allowing her bank accounts to be used, she had never been given any money.

Sentencing her to a total of 28 months prison, Mr Recorder Martyn Levett told her that by helping to distribute illegal drugs, she had been perpetuating ‘misery and crime’ among users.