Heysham cannabis dealer ordered to pay back £13k

A CONVICTED drug dealer, sentenced to two years after pleading guilty to supplying cannabis, has been ordered to pay back almost £13k.

Stuart Bridges, 42, of Douglas Drive, Heysham, pleaded guilty to supplying cannabis and money laundering in March 2010.

On Friday at Preston Crown Court, an application to have the proceeds from his crimes confiscated was successful.

The benefit of his criminality was set at £42,170 with available assets identified to the value of £12,964.95.

He must now pay back that amount within six months or face a further eight months imprisonment and still owe the money on his release.

Bridges was arrested after police raided his home address on 14 August 2009 and discovered 27 blocks of cannabis resign in the shed and kitchen.

Officers seized £4180 after it was discovered in a bedroom drawer.

Financial Investigator Anna Willets said: "The Proceeds of Crime Act is one of many tools we are using to come down hard on criminals.

"I hope this sends out a warning, if we find you with cash that you cannot account for, we will hit you where it really hurts - your wallet."

Courts do not deal with confiscations at sentencing and following a conviction Lancashire Constabulary dedicate months and often years to investigate the finances of people where we have reasonable suspicion could have obtained money illegally.

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