A hair stylist who lived a secret double life as a debt collector for her drug trafficking boyfriend has been spared jail.
Olivia Monks, 23, fielded thousands of pounds in dirty money owing to 22-year-old Mitchum Fisher, after he gave her a list of 23 names to chase for payment.
But a judge decided not to send her prison as he said the mum-of-one had been “dragged into” the illicit racket due to the “damaging relationship” she had with Fisher.
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The couple, who have a child together, were arrested after police stopped their Audi A1 car in Farnworth, near Bolton.
Officers discovered a stash of cocaine, cannabis, weighing scales plus a blood stained knife hidden in the glove compartment.
It emerged that Fisher – once tipped as a future Manchester United footballer – had previously been given an ASBO-type “Gangbo” court order over his links to organized crime.
He had also been issued with a police threat to life ‘Osman warning’ over underworld intelligence suggesting a contract had been put out on him by rival mobsters.
At Bolton Crown Court, Monks of Farnworth faced jail after she admitted acquiring criminal property and having a bladed article but was freed with a two year community order.
She and Fisher have now split up.
Fisher, of Salford, and one of his customers Dylan Gallagher, 22, of Farnworth were each given 12 months suspended for two years after they admitted possessing cocaine and having cannabis with intent to supply.
The bust occurred at 1.25pm on April 10, 2020 when police were looking for Fisher in connection with other matters.
David Lees prosecuting said: ”Ms Monks’ Audi A1 was stopped by police with Ms Monks in the driver’s seat, Gallagher in the rear seat behind her and Fisher sat in the other rear seat.
”Gallagher was found to have 0.285g of cocaine worth £25 in a single snap bag in the breast pocket of his gillet.
“He replied ‘It’s for my own personal use, I forgot it was there’ and the car was then searched. A kitchen knife was found in the glove compartment and Ms Monks blood was found on the handle.
”Police also searched a gray satchel in the car and found cocaine worth £200 in plastic bags, superstrength ‘skunk’ cannabis, valued at £100, a set of digital scales and a second kitchen knife.
”A mobile phone was seized from Olivia Monks and this showed her collecting money on behalf of Fisher.
“In March 2020 he had sent her a list of 23 names with sums which totaled over £8,000. She can be seen contacting various people chasing up those debts.
”She later responded by sending a message to Fisher indicating that 12 of those people had paid money. The total paid was £2,260 which is the sum collected by Ms Monks and presumably this would eventually have been given to Mr Fisher.
”The phone also contains messages from Ms Monks to Fisher in which she accused him of ‘smoking too much weed’ and being a dealer.
“There is at least one request for drugs to this phone which Ms Monks responds to by giving the texter an alternative number and saying ‘don’t call or text this number again’ suggesting she did not at least at that stage want to involve herself directly in the supply of drugs.”
Mr Lees added: ”Officers also seized two phones seized from Fisher one showing he was selling cannabis.
“There were requests for large amounts of drugs, one in particular for £940 and there is also a debtor’s list on his phone made that suggests a number of debtors owed him four figure sums.
”The entire debtors list on his phone was for £8,400 suggesting he was dealing in substantial quantities of drugs at the time.
“However it did not show any evidence of his selling cocaine. The only references police could find to cocaine showed him trying to purchase amounts for his own use.”
In January last year Fisher was given an eight month suspended prison term for dangerous driving after he crashed a stolen ”hot hatch” Ford Fiesta ST200 with false plates during a 90mph chase with police.
He had also been served with four-year civil injunction banning him for his regular haunts and carrying weapons during a major operation against organized crime.
In mitigation his counsel David Birrell said: ”He was a heavy user of cocaine and cannabis at the time of these offenses, matters spiraled and he was selling cannabis to others he knew.
”He did have a promising football career, starting at Oldham and seemed to move towards Manchester United but it didn’t happen and that’s when his life took a different turn and he fell into this lifestyle.
”He was in a relationship with Miss Monks but no longer – although they have a two year old son together.
“He wants to be a responsible parent and stay away from drug use. He has a genuine desire to desist from offending and end his association with those who caused these issues.”
Mr Birrell added: ”He has expressed deep remorse about the fact Miss Monks has been placed in the position she has. He is deeply sorry that it has happened and wishes it hasn’t been so.”
Sentencing Judge Martin Walsh said: ”This was a very large scale cannabis operation due to the volumes of money involved.
”It’s not an unreasonable conclusion to make that Olivia Monks has been dragged into this as a debt collector for her boyfriend. Her offending behavior by her is largely due to the damaging relationship which she had with Fisher.
He told Monks who was also required to complete 30 rehabilitation requirement days: “You were involved in collecting debt on behalf of your former partner.”
“You were involved in what appeared to be a corrosive relationship with him at the time and I am quite satisfied that your involvement in the matter was a result of influence placed on you by him.
”Drugs blight our society and the courts see on far too many occasions how lives are utterly destroyed by addiction to them. Each of you have been given an opportunity and it is up to each you to turn your lives around.”
Fisher was also ordered to complete 180 hours unpaid work and Gallagher will also have to complete 140 hours. Both will have to complete a nine month drug rehabilitation program.
The four year Gangbo – issued under the Anti-Social and Behavior Crime and Policing Act -prevents Fisher from entering particular areas of the borough, and from making contact with specified individuals.
The order stipulates he faces jail for contempt if caught harassing others and being in possession of knives or hammers with police saying it was a ”significant result” in helping officers ”keep the streets of Salford clear of serious and organized crime.’ ‘
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.