Two convicted drug producers have been ordered to pay £40,000 after a judge ruled that they made the money through their illegal lifestyle.
At a confiscation hearing at York Crown Court on Friday 19 October 2012, Recorder Richard Woolfall, ordered the pair to repay £20,000 each, following an investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act by North Yorkshire Police's Financial Investigation Unit.
Andrew Corrie, 50 of Bondgate, Selby, and Stephen David Liddle, 35, of Hambleton Close, Selby, pleaded guilty to cannabis production in August 2011 after police found a sophisticated cannabis grow at Corrie's home in Bondgate, Selby.
On 25 November 2011, they were both sentenced to 52 weeks imprisonment suspended for 12 months and ordered to do 300 hours unpaid work.
On Friday, Recorder Woolfall, found that Corrie and Liddle had each benefited from their drug production to the sum of £20,000. And based on the realisable assets held by the defendants, he ordered that they each repay £20,000 within six months. If they fail to do so, they will be sent to prison for 12 months and will still be liable to pay the money back.
Financial Investigator Peter Mekins, said: "Once again the Proceeds of Crime Act has proved to be useful tool with which to target criminals where it hurts the most - their pocket.
"It is only right that they are forced to repay money which they have made by illegal means. Why should criminals live a lavish lifestyle at the expense and misery of our law-abiding communities?
"We will continue to make full use of the legislation under the Proceeds of Crime Act to take every opportunity to deprive criminals of their illegal earnings."
Police executed a search warrant at Corrie's home in Bondgate, Selby, on 9 December 2010. They discovered over 100 cannabis plants in various stages of growth, hydroponic equipment, lighting units, incubators and ducting. The were both arrested on suspicion of producing cannabis and pleaded guilty in August 2011.
As part of the Why should they? campaign, North Yorkshire Police use money they have confiscated from criminals to help organisations such as charities, clubs and community groups whose work helps to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour.
So far, 28 organisations have benefitted from a share of £49,000 in York and North Yorkshire since the campaign was launched in 2010. Bids are currently open for the 2012 campaign and will close on 31 October 2012. For information on how to apply, go to Winning bids for the 2011 Why should they? campaign
22 October 2012