The nurse daughter of a Liverpool football star who she lived an ‘extravagant’ lifestyle financed by her drug-dealing boyfriend she met behind bars and has avoided jail, after the judge said the relationship ruined her life.
Georgia Harkness, 27, began seeing Salford drug dealer Ashley Blackett after they met in prison, while he was serving time and she was working as a prison nurse.
Harkness, the daughter of former Liverpool footballer Steve Harkness, had Blackett’s baby and helped him continue his criminal empire while behind bars.
Blackett, who was jailed for 12 1/2 years last month, arranged to send money to the prison nurse so she could spend £34,000 on designer clothes, £13,000 on jewelery and drive an Audi A5.
Harkness tried to hide the extent of his involvement by refusing to tell police his phone’s PIN number, but they eventually cracked the device and uncovered incriminating material.
Prison nurse Georgia Harkness, 27, has avoided jail after living an “extravagant” lifestyle financed by her boyfriend, drug dealer Ashley Blackett, whom she met behind bars.
Ashley Blackett, who was jailed for 12 1/2 years last month, arranged to send money to the prison nurse so she could spend £34,000 on designer clothes, £13,000 on jewelery and drive an Audi A5.
Harkness, who was supported in court by her father, who played more than 100 games for Liverpool in the 1990s, avoided jail after a judge said she had no prior convictions, is caring for her young son and ruled that it can be rehabilitated.
“Ashley Blackett has ruined her life, to a great extent,” judge Nicholas Dean KC told him.
“Although 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 “continuing”.
“He professes, no doubt, to care for and love you, but he has used you,” the judge continued.
It is not for me to try to persuade you to leave this relationship, but everyone close to you recognizes that Ashley Blackett is a very bad influence on you. She is a career and committed criminal.
The court was told that she and Blackett, 35, first met in 2017 at HMP Risley in Warrington. She became pregnant with her child for a brief period when he was released.
Harkness is the daughter of former Liverpool footballer Steve Harkness (pictured)
Blackett’s brother, Wesley Blackett, and his right-hand man, Christopher Taylor (pictured), supplied cocaine and heroin abroad on Blackett’s behalf.
He was later called to prison and directed drug trafficking from his cell using illegal phones. His brother Wesley Blackett and his right-hand man Christopher Taylor supplied cocaine and heroin abroad on Blackett’s behalf.
Investigators reviewed Blackett’s financial records and found that Harkness had sent him more than £1,000 over a nine-month period in 2019, through his prison payment system.
She bought him expensive designer clothes and he paid for the gifts she sent him, prosecutor Joe Allman said. She was also involved in money laundering by transferring funds to different accounts, he said.
Allman said that Harkness was “living way beyond his means” and indulging in “extravagant” expenses. When police went to his house, they found £34,000 worth of designer clothes and £13,000 worth of jewellery.
Bank records showed that she had purchased items at designer stores, including Tessuti and Flannels.
Allman said there was evidence that Blackett had paid his rent every month, even though he was behind bars.
£2,000 worth of steroids were also found during the search. Harkness was arrested in July 2020. She refused to tell police her PIN, but they independently gained access to it.
Harkness, of St Helens, pleaded guilty to criminal possession of property, criminal property transfer, possession with intent to supply testosterone, a schedule C drug, and failure to comply with section 49 by failing to tell police his PIN number. mobile phone.
“He has pleaded guilty to felonies,” Judge Dean told him during Friday’s sentencing hearing.
‘You come from a good positive and supportive family. She describes herself as a good nurse, I have no doubt that she was.
Her mother said that if Harkness had not met Blackett, she “would never have engaged in illegal activities,” the court heard.
But the judge told the defendant: ‘You must have recognized that what you were doing was wrong.
You must have recognized that you were supporting Ashley Blackett in her illegal activity. It may be that to some extent you have enjoyed the lifestyle she facilitated for you, I don’t know.
‘It’s hard to understand why you persisted in behaving the way you did.’ Harkness was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered to complete 10 days of rehabilitation activity requirements.
He will face a new hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act later this year, where prosecutors will try to recover his ill-gotten gains. In a separate hearing last month, Ashley Blackett was jailed after pleading guilty to conspiring to supply Schedule A drugs and possessing a cellphone while in prison.
Christopher Taylor, 34, with no fixed address, was jailed for seven years, and Wesley Blackett, 37, of North George Street, Salford, was jailed for five and a half years. Both men admitted their involvement in the drug conspiracy.