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Sunday 18 March 2018

Drug lord's girlfriend blew thousands on 'lavish shopping sprees' despite only earning £18k as council worker

Courtney Randles Credit: Merseyside Police
Courtney Randles Credit: Merseyside Police

David Kearns

The girlfriend of a murdering drug dealer who lived a champagne lifestyle despite earning minimum wage has been jailed after a court ruled she was “quite willing” to benefit from her partner's crimes.

Courtney Randles (26) spent thousands on lavish shopping sprees in New York and posted dozens of selfies on first and business class transatlantic flights despite only earning €25,000 (£18,000) as a council worker in Liverpool.

The former model, who first denied that she knew where her partner's money came from, even tried launder the profits of her boyfriend’s drug empire by offering a EuroMillions lottery winner a cash-for-a-cheque trade.

Despite claims she was forced by her boyfriend, convicted murderer Christopher Kenny, into helping him, a judge at Liverpool Crown Court concluded Ms Randles was 'quite willing' to continue her association with a murderer and a drug dealer, and jailed her for three years and four months.

Mr Kenny (26) was given a life sentence for the brutal stabbing of Anthony Duffy in Aintree in May last year.

He conspired to murder the 33-year-old drug dealer with Shaun Walmsley (26) after they found out Duffy was plotting to steal their €74,000 cannabis farm.

Courtney Randles Credit: Merseyside Police
Courtney Randles Credit: Merseyside Police

Judge Clement Goldstone told Ms Randles: “You were trusted by him and you were steeped in his criminality – not least because you were quite happy to benefit from his ill-gotten gains and enjoyed the lifestyle.”

The 26-year-old pleaded guilty to money laundering, disclosing personal data without consent and possession of the Class C designer drug TFMPP.

Prosecutors said Ms Randles knew her partner was a major drug dealer in Dover, Aberdeen and Kent.

When police raided their apartment, accounts and tick lists showed he kept a daily running balance of around €674,000.

Meanwhile, €88,000 (£61,970) in cash was hidden in a cavity behind a mirror in their bathroom.

Mr Kenny was arrested at Manchester Airport while trying to flee the country on flights, while Ms Randles was arrested her at work as she was attempting to arrange “emergency leave”.

Boyfriend Christopher Kenny Credit: Merseyside Police
Boyfriend Christopher Kenny Credit: Merseyside Police

In her handbag was €9,647 (£6,796) in cash and a ‘to-do’ list in her handwriting, which included “money in bank for flights” and “get mirror”.

Text messages revealed Ms Randles had tried to launder hundreds of thousands of pounds in 2013.

In August she sent a text to a woman who won £2 million on EuroMillions, and asked if she took her £100,000 to £200,000 in cash would she make a payment back to them because Mr Kenny “could not get rid of it”

Detective Inspector Graeme Robson said: “In a bid to hide ill-gotten gains from the authorities Courtney Randles invested the proceeds from her partner’s dealings in drugs through an array of different means.

“By spreading his ill-gotten wealth she probably hoped to avoid detection. But an extensive, lengthy and thorough investigation in to her complex financial affairs was carried out by detectives from the Matrix Serious and Organised Crime team, alongside Liverpool CID and financial investigators from the Financial Investigation Unit.

“It is credit to the team and their determination that she has been sentenced and once again it proves that crime doesn’t pay.”

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