Drug pair payback

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court
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TWO drug dealers have been made to pay back £2,271 of their ill-gotten gains – despite a court hearing they had made almost £90,000 in illegitimate profit from their criminal actions.

Thomas Manton, 45, and 34-year-old Sharon Cookson were both convicted of possession of cannabis with intent to supply following a raid on their home on St David’s Road North, St Annes, in April 2011.

They were also charged with allowing the address to be used for dealing drugs.

In August this year, Manton was jailed for 36 weeks and Cookson was given a 12-month community order.

At a Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA)hearing at Preston Crown Court this week, the pair were deemed to have a combined criminal benefit of £89,396 from their illegal activities.

Their current available assets were valued at £2,271 and a confiscation order was made to take this from them.

Det Con Ellie Heaney, of Blackpool Police, said: “Manton and Cookson made a significant amount of money through their illegal activities and it is only right this should now be confiscated from them and ploughed back into good causes.

“The community do not want to see criminals prospering and enjoying a lavish lifestyle on the back of activities which have caused them misery.

“Although only a small portion of the criminal benefit could be confiscated by the courts, due to the current limited assets of the pair, the total figure still stands and if it becomes clear in the future Manton and Cookson have further assets these can be taken from them until the confiscation order is satisfied.”

Where the courts believe money or assets have been amassed through illegal activity, POCA legislation is used to confiscate criminally gained cash and possessions. The subsequent money collected is then distributed between a number of crime fighting agencies and authorities in order to give something back to the local community.

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