Bacup dealer told to pay back £24k drug cash
4:22pm Tuesday 22nd October 2013 in NW
A DRUG dealer who set up his own underground cannabis factory has been ordered to hand over £24,000 by the crown court.
Gavin Fearnley, 36, ran his own drugs farm in a buried shipping container at his home in Tong Lane, Bacup, to feed his ongoing cocaine addiction.
He was jailed for 32 months in May after being convicted of possession of cocaine with intent to supply, production of cannabis, possession of cannabis with intent to supply, abstraction of electricity and possession of an offensive weapon.
The self-employed painter and decorator was caught with cannabis with a street value of £17,350 and cocaine worth £5,560, and some knuckle dusters.
But after his court appearance, financial investigators from Lancashire police pursued Fearnley under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).
Following a brief hearing at Burnley Crown Court, Recorder Philip Parry ordered him to repay £24,000 within six months, or he will face an additional six-month prison sentence in default.
The court heard that originally a figure of more than £300,000 had been put on his exploits and he faced repaying £87,000 but negotiations had taken place between barristers on both sides.
After the case, Det Con Adrian Crorken said: “I am happy we have been able to get back Fearnley’s illegally amassed money, through the POCA process. The act allows us to take back cash from offenders which they have gained through their criminal behaviour. We are able to seize cash, cars and even a person’s home if it is thought these items were used to facilitate carrying out crime or were bought with an offender’s illegal profits.”