A woman who laundered cash gleaned from selling illicit details about one of James Bulger’s killers claimed her jail term should be cut – because she misheard the judge when he sentenced her.
Lynn Gaffney, 40, was among a group prosecuted over the leaking of details about Jon Venables, who was convicted of murdering the Liverpool toddler in 1993.
The infamous killer and his accomplice, Robert Thompson, became so notorious that Venables was given a new name after he was freed on parole from his life sentence.
But he was later recalled to jail for child porn offences, London’s Appeal Court heard today.
It was while he was serving time in HMP Woodhill, near Milton Keynes, that prison officer, Scott Chapman, leaked Venables’ new name and other personal details to the media.
He was paid a total of £35,000 for his information and used his ex-partner, Gaffney, to help “launder” the cash.
Gaffney, of Belvoir Close, Corby, Northampton, denied having any idea about the source of the money.
However, she was jailed for 30 weeks at the Old Bailey in November last year after she was convicted over her role.
Chapman was jailed for 40 months for misconduct in a public office , while a tabloid journalist received a suspended jail term for her involvement.
All were prosecuted as part of a wider police probe into payment for illicit information by journalists.
Gaffney’s case reached the Appeal Court today as she challenged her punishment, which her lawyers termed “manifestly excessive”.
She also said she was lulled into a false sense of relief because she, and others in court, had clearly heard the judge impose a 13-week term – not 30 weeks.
This gave her a “legitimate expectation” that this would be her punishment, her legal team insisted.
However, Mr Justice Jeremy Baker, sitting with Lady Justice Rafferty and Mrs Justice Carr, pointed out that the judge “swiftly resolved” any misunderstanding the following day.
Dismissing Gaffney’s appeal, he concluded: “We don’t consider there was any lack of proportion in the sentence passed”.
The ENGLISH DEMOCRATS say’s it is unfair that the Courts protect the wrong doers than the Law abiding citizens!