Thieves used gaming machines in bid to launder £50,000 from Asda robbery

Asda Marina Way Hartlepool. Picture by FRANK REID
Asda Marina Way Hartlepool. Picture by FRANK REID

Two men and a woman used gaming machines in an attempt to launder cash stolen in a security guard robbery in Hartlepool.

The guard was targeted outside Asda in Hartlepool and a canister containing £50,000 was stolen, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Stephen Littlewood said about eight days later, money from the robbery was used in gambling machines in two betting shops and a bingo hall.

“When a cash canister is breached dye is released onto the notes,” added Mr Littlewood..

“This makes them all but impossible to spend across a counter.

“At the time of these offences, gambling machines in betting shops couldn’t detect the dye.

“The defendants put the dyed notes into the machines.

“They were able to launder the money because at the end of a gaming session, the machines issue a receipt for the gamer’s closing balance.

“The receipt can then be exchanged for cash from the cashier’s desk.”

Sarah Boddy, Darren Harper, and Jonathan Liddle were caught on CCTV using the gaming machines at the time of the fraudulent transactions.

They were seen on footage from Ladbrokes and Coral betting shops, and on footage from a Gala bingo hall in Darlington, the court heard.

Boddy, 31, of Eldon Bank, Harper, 27, of Spencer Street, and Liddle, 24, all Bishop Auckland, each admitted concealing and converting criminal property between August and September, 2014.

Lawyers for the three said there was no suggestion any of the them had been involved in the robbery, and each had only made a few hundred pounds from their activities.

Judge Howard Crowson sentenced each defendant to 20 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months.

Boddy and Harper were ordered to do 80 hours of community work,

Liddle was given a curfew of eight weeks after the court head he is unfit for community work.

Police inquires into the robbery are continuing.