Weston man must pay cash or face jail

PUBLISHED: 13:59 25 January 2011 | UPDATED: 14:13 25 January 2011

Police have made a number of major drugs seizures in North Somerset this year.

Police have made a number of major drugs seizures in North Somerset this year.

Archant

A CRIMINAL who had nearly 60 cannabis plants growing in his Weston flat must pay back proceeds from his crime or face time in jail.

On Friday Dean Lewis, of Quantock Road, was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court to 36 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months, 200 hours unpaid work and he must pay £350 costs, for producing the class B drug.

In addition to this the 24-year-old has 28 days to pay £650 that the court believed he gained as a result of his criminal activity.

If he does not pay up he will face 21 days in jail and must still pay the sum.

The confiscation order was made under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 which allows police and the Crown Prosecution Service to identify and demand repayment of criminals’ ‘ill-gotten gains’.

Lewis who pleaded guilty, was arrested in September last year after a warrant was executed at his Weston flat and police discovered 57 cannabis plants being grown and seized £650 in cash.

Dr Kirstie Cogram, from Avon and Somerset police’s financial investigation unit, said: “We are committed to seizing any assets that criminals have gained as a result of crime.

“It is not acceptable that criminals benefit from illegal activities and we will relentlessly pursue them through the courts to ensure their money is taken.

“By doing this we show criminals that they will not benefit from crime and hopefully deter others from entering a life of crime.”

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