Coke dealer used former girlfriends to launder cash and help manage his illegal Leeds business

A cocaine dealer employed his ex girlfriends to clean thousands of pounds in dirty drug money who also offered him business advice.
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Kyle Bucknall operated a “ring and bring” drugs line, Leeds Crown Court heard, but the two women helped to launder the profits by putting the money through their bank accounts.

Rachael Bennett, 37, was “heavily involved” by taking drug orders, and accepted payments from customers through bank transfers. She also kept a tick list of those who still owed money and advised Bucknall on which customers should be given credit. She then transferred cash to him which totalled more than £8,300.

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In addition, Kimberley Milton, 24, kept track of cash owed to Bucknall and was tasked with finding new customers. She also had money paid into her accounts from 52 people that she could not explain. The deposited cash would then be withdrawn by Bucknall on the same day or the next day.

Bucknall and Bennett were both given custodial sentences this week for laundering cash made from drug dealing. (pics by WYP / Getty)Bucknall and Bennett were both given custodial sentences this week for laundering cash made from drug dealing. (pics by WYP / Getty)
Bucknall and Bennett were both given custodial sentences this week for laundering cash made from drug dealing. (pics by WYP / Getty)

All three admitted being concerned in the supply of cocaine and cannabis and money laundering.

It took place between 2021 and 2022 and came to light after Bucknall, of Saxon Green, Moortown, was arrested for a car-stealing scam, prosecutor Louise Pryke told the court.

He was eventually handed an eight-year sentence in October last year. Bennett was also involved in the scam, but she avoided being locked up at the time, having been handed a suspended sentence.

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Bucknall has 34 previous convictions for 90 offences, including robberies, burglaries, drug dealing and the conspiracy to steal vehicles. Mitigating, Adrian Pollard said Bucknall suffered from ADHD and had learning difficulties which led him to be excluded from school at the age of 14.

He said Bucknall had been in a long-term relationship with Bennett, but when that soured he got together with Milton.

Mother-of-six Bennett, of Greenfield Court, Wakefield, has four previous convictions for 19 offences, including producing cannabis from 2017 and the vehicle-stealing conspiracy from last year.

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Mitigating on her behalf, Holly Clegg said: “She accepts this is something she got herself into. She personally did not make any money from this. She withdrew the money and gave it to her co-defendant.”

Milton, of Deanswood Hill, Moortown, has no previous convictions. Mitigating, Stephen Smithson said she was vulnerable and had spent time in the Becklin Centre at St James’s Hospital due to her mental health issues. She has complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and possible autism. Mr Smithson said she did not have control over the debit card and her vulnerabilities made her more likely to be exploited.

Judge Penelope Belcher gave Bucknall 18 months’ jail to run consecutively to his eight-year jail sentence, having taken the principal of totality into consideration.

Bennett was given 28 months’ immediate jail, while Milton was handed 24 months, suspended for 24 four months, with a 120-day alcohol-abstinence requirement and 30 rehabilitation days.

Judge Belcher said Milton was only spared immediate custody due to her lack of previous convictions and vulnerabilities.

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