Bude cannabis pensioner John Edwards ordered to pay £35k by judge
A Judge has ordered a pensioner from Bude to pay £35,000 within six months under the proceeds of crime act.
John Edwards, who was convicted at Truro Crown Court last year of cultivating 24 cannabis plants at his home at Widemouth Bay was given a 12-month community order and a three-month electronically tagged curfew.
Now the 66 year-old may have to sell his £250,000 home in Long Park Drive to pay the money.
Police said following his conviction, a confiscation investigation by the Cornwall Financial Investigation team commenced. The law allows them to go back six years drawing assumptions from money banked, expenditure and property held.
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A confiscation hearing has now been held at Truro Crown Court where the defendant produced five witnesses to argue his case.
But Judge Nelligan said he found the defence evidence “utterly fanciful,’’ and ordered Mr Edwards to pay £35,058.87 within six months. This figure included £6,129.50 of drugs found at the premises.
A police spokesman said: “Mr Edwards has assets of a house which he had valued at £250,000. Mr Edwards will need to find the money to pay the order and that could mean he may have to sell his house to realise the order value.’’
A spokesperson from Cornwall Financial Investigation Unit said: “We are pleased that following a drug trafficking conviction in Bude, North Cornwall, a confiscation application at Truro Crown Court was successful.
“ This large sum of money will need to be paid back by the defendant and shows that we endeavour to continue to make sure that crime does not pay.
“The law allows us in certain circumstances to look into the defendants financial affairs going back six years. The Proceeds of Crime Act is a robust piece of legislation that we will continue to use to break up, deter and financially hurt criminals operating in our area.
“A bonus is that part of these funds will come back into force for onward distribution to local good causes.”