A WINDERMERE couple caught in a drug dealing sting have been ordered by a court to pay back a total of £2,820 or spend longer in jail.

Maxine Elizabeth Turner, 42, was found to have benefited from her criminality to the tune of £21,522.

Her co-defendant and partner, Craig Shepherd, 27, was also found to have benefited to the tune of £21,012.

A judge at Carlisle Crown Court imposed a confiscation order in respect of Turner for £1,665 and if she does not pay then she will face a further 45 days in jail.

In respect of Shepherd the Judge imposed a similar confiscation order of £1,155 and again if he fails to pay he will also face a further 45 days in jail.

Turner and Shepherd, of School Knott Drive, Windermere have been given 21 days to pay the order or they will be sent to prison for a period of 45 days in default.

The Proceeds of Crime hearing follows an investigation by Cumbria Constabulary into the supply of cocaine and cannabis in the Kendal area.

Turner and Shepherd appeared at Carlisle Crown Court on 21st June 2012 where they were sentenced to four years imprisonment and three years imprisonment respectfully.

Financial Investigator Detective Constable Nick Doherty of Cumbria Constabulary said: “A financial investigation was carried out alongside officers involved in the original criminal investigation, with the aim of establishing the extent of Turner and Shepherds criminality and identifying their assets.

“Turner and Shepherd have now been stripped of their assets, if they fail to pay the order they will be sent back to jail, it’s as simple as that."

“Cumbria Constabulary has a team of financial investigators who work hard to uncover how offenders have financially benefitted from crime so that it can be recovered and put back into the community.

“These Court proceedings show that criminals pay for their crimes by not only going to jail but also by being stripped of their ill gotten gains. Proceeds of Crime Act confiscation is designed as a deterrent by acting as a significant financial penalty which can strip criminals of their homes, cars and other assets they have acquired through their criminality.

“In these tough economic times the temptation to commit criminal offences for financial gain is seen by some as an easy alternative to honest work. I hope this case deters any potential offenders who may be thinking that a criminal lifestyle can be lucrative.

"This case shows that we don’t stop pursuing criminals even when they are behind bars – we will come after you and we will confiscate your assets. We will continue to take the cash out of crime.”