£1m robber's wife admits laundering

THE glamorous wife of a Yorkshire crime boss has been warned to expect a prison sentence after she admitted laundering hundreds of thousands of pounds, the proceeds of crime.

Maxine Valentine's husband Dennis Slade was jailed for life at Leeds Crown Court last year for conspiracy to murder and robberies including the theft of 1m from a security van. He was said to be a "premier league" criminal.

Yesterday Valentine appeared at Teesside Crown Court and admitted acquiring, using or possessing criminal property between April 28, 2005, and March 5, 2008, "knowing or suspecting it to represent in whole or part, whether directly or indirectly, proceeds of criminal conduct".

Paul Greaney QC, prosecuting, said the charge involved a "course of money laundering of many hundreds of thousands of pounds over almost three years".

Valentine, 36, a mother of five, of Sandmoor Drive, Alwoodley, Leeds, has denied two further offences involving 24,020 and 15,450 which Mr Greaney said would be left on file at sentence.

Bailing Valentine until next month for a report, Judge John Walford told her: "The fact you have pleaded guilty will go in your favour when sentence comes to be passed but you must recognise, as I am sure you do, this is self evidently a serious matter and the almost inevitable outcome is a sentence of some length.

"That I am granting you bail should not mislead you into thinking custody is not the likely outcome in this case."

The judge also asked Valentine's defence to provide details on her financial circumstances "because clearly where this amount of financial malpractice is involved, the court is bound to be considering financial orders on top of everything else".

Police will attempt to recover the money but Mr Greaney said no confiscation hearing should be fixed before her husband's, listed in December. Slade is currently appealing against conviction for conspiracy to murder.