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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

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Carlisle cannabis man ordered to pay £42,000

A father of three who was caught with £3,500-worth of cannabis in his car will have to sell his family’s home after a court ordered him to hand over more than £42,000 of his criminal profits.

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‘Public duty’: Judge Paul Batty QC praised the two men and the News & Star

Kevin John Walker, 40, claimed the drugs belonged to a man he gave a lift to. But a judge at Carlisle Crown Court later described the explanation for how the 13 bags of the class B drug came to be in his car as “incredible.”

Walker, who was jailed for a year after being convicted of possessing the drug with intent to supply it, was back in court yesterday for a hearing which was brought under the Proceeds of Crime Act, which is designed to strip criminals of their profits.

Judge Paul Batty QC was told that it was agreed that Walker had benefited from his crimes by just over £76,000.

But the only available realisable assets found by detectives were worth £42,430.

“The main asset is the matrimonial home,” said prosecutor Rob Dudley.

Keith Thomas, for Walker, of Borland Avenue, Botcherby in Carlisle said the former matrimonial home, where the defendant’s wife lives with their three children, will have to be sold to raise the money.

Judge Batty confirmed a confiscation order for the sum of £42,430, and imposed a 15-month jail term in default if the money is not paid.

Walker was arrested in March last year after he was seen behaving suspiciously near to Wigton Road, Carlisle.

When his car was stopped police found a plastic bag containing 13 smaller bags, each containing cannabis.

The judge said it was clear that Walker would either have sold the drugs himself or would have passed them on to someone else for “commercial distribution”.

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