Jail for West Lynn drugs grower

Frederick Grey,  59, of Sculthorpe Avenue, West Lynn,
Frederick Grey, 59, of Sculthorpe Avenue, West Lynn,
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A West Lynn man who paid back just £320 of the £25,000 made from growing cannabis plants has been jailed.

Frederick Gray, 59, of Sculthorpe Avenue, had initially been spared prison after police discovered 70 cannabis plants being grown under heat lamps and horticultural equipment at an address in Kempe Road on June 2012.

He was given a suspended sentence in July 2013 and ordered to pay back £25,200 under the Proceeds of Crime Act in February, last year.

But at a confiscation enforcement hearing at Dover Magistrates’ Court on April 24, it was established Gray had only paid back £320 and has been jailed for 13 months.

The Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU), which includes Norfolk police officers and tackles organised crime, had supported the courts in trying to recover Grey’s criminal gain.s

Det Con Nick Bentley said: “The activation of the default sentence in this case serves as a message to others in similar situations that the Proceeds of Crime Act is a robust piece of legislation and individuals shall be pursued through enforcement if full payment is not made.

“The outstanding debt will remain with Gray after his time in prison but should he manage to pay the confiscation order in full he would be eligible for release from custody and would not have to serve the full term.”

The dedicated unit comprises staff from Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk police forces and focuses on tackling organised crime groups across the region.

Since the unit was created in 2010 it has seized drugs worth £44.5m, restrained assets worth £37.9m and secured confiscation orders worth a total of £25m.