Ex 'gangster's moll' Gemma Harvieu avoids custodial sentence

Andrew Moran and Gemma Harvieu
Image caption Gemma Harvieu's lawyer said she was "taken in" by Andrew Moran

A former "gangster's moll" who helped one of Britain's most wanted fugitives while he was on the run in Spain has been spared jail.

Gemma Harvieu, 29, wired £3,600 to Andrew Moran, who had fled the country after vaulting the dock of a courtroom while on trial over an armed robbery.

Harvieu admitted assisting an offender and money laundering.

At Preston Crown Court, she was given a 12-month suspended sentence and ordered to do 300 hours of unpaid work.

The court heard Moran, 31, of Salford, escaped custody in March 2009 and was convicted in his absence of conspiracy to commit robbery.

It followed a raid on a Royal Mail van in Colne, Lancashire where £25,000 was stolen.

'Fell in love'

After a four-year search, Moran was arrested by police after a raid at a villa in Alicante.

Prosecutor Tim Brennand said details linking him to Harvieu, whom he labelled a "gangster's moll", were then found by officers.

Moran is now in custody in Spain and is awaiting trial on drugs and weapons charges.

Harvieu, of High Lane, Chorlton, initially denied the charges against her, but later changed her pleas.

Michael Bagley, defending Harvieu, said his client was no longer in a relationship with Moran, whom she said she had met in Spain by chance.

He said: "The long and short of it is that he took in Miss Harvieu, she fell in love with him".

She was ashamed of her actions and felt "humiliated" by the caricature of her being a "gangster's moll", he added.

'Very serious matter'

Mr Justice Turner, sentencing, said she had not been to jail before and had effectively already served a 12-month term after being on remand since June.

He said: "Helping criminal careers is a very serious matter, so serious in the set of circumstances that we meet in this case.

"There can be no justification for funding criminals like Andrew Moran. The message must go out to the public that these sort of offences must not be condoned or tolerated."

Moran's sister Simone Moran, 27, and Jason Fitzgerald, 28, both of Edenbridge Drive, Radcliffe, received the same sentence as Harvieu after they both admitted assisting an offender at earlier hearings.

A fourth defendant, Leighton Craft, 39, of Parkhill, Prestwich, was previously given an eight-month suspended sentence after making an untrue statement to procure a passport.

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