AN EX-CANNABIS user from Leamington who tried to have the drug smuggled into the country from Canada in a parcel of toys has been ordered to pay more than £5,000 as the proceeds of his crime.
Despite admitting he sold cannabis to his friends, self-employed plasterer Jake Brown narrowly escaped being jailed when he appeared at Warwick Crown Court earlier this year.
The 33-year-old, of Avenue Road, was sentenced to ten months suspended for two years and ordered to do 250 hours of unpaid work after he admitted evading the prohibition on importing cannabis and possessing a quantity of the drug.
But on that occasion a hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act was adjourned for police financial investigators to look into Brown’s finances.
And at the resumed hearing Recorder William Edis QC found that his benefit from his crime had been a total of £5,538 and that he had assets worth £5,450.
So he made a Proceeds of Crime Act confiscation order for Brown to pay £5,450 within three months or face two months in jail in default – after which he would still owe the money.
During the original hearing prosecutor Alexandra Kettle-Williams said in September last year customs officers intercepted a parcel from Canada said to contain a toy set.
But as well as the toys, the parcel, addressed to Brown, contained 727 grams of herbal cannabis – which could have a street value of up to £10 a gram.
When he was later arrested he was found to have 50 grams of cannabis, which he admitted possessing for his own use.
Tom Schofield, defending, said Brown, a self-employed plasterer, had voluntarily referred himself to the Recovery Partnership and had not used cannabis for four months.