TERRINGTON ST CLEMENT: Charity drug dealer told to repay £59,000
A couple who handed out much of their drug-dealing fortune to African villagers face losing their holiday home to pay some of the cash back.
Susan Cooper, 63, and her partner Michael Foster, 62, were each jailed for three years in last October after transforming a site in Terrington St Clement, as well as their home in Little Sutton, into cannabis factories.
A proceeds of crime hearing held at Lincoln Crown Court last Friday heard that the couple regularly flew out to Kenya where they used much of their ill-gotten gains to help local villagers and charities.
References showed the pair were regular donors to the Kwale District Eye Hospital where their cash was used to buy much-needed computers.
They also paid for local children to be put through school and for a life-saving operation on a man’s infected leg, while a family named their three-year-old son Foster in honour of Foster’s’work in the country..
As previously reported, Cooper and Foster had both pleaded guilty to four charges of producing cannabis and a single offence of possessing criminal cash between March 2004 and June 2010.
After the couple’s incredible six-year double life was exposed investigators examined their finances to see if any assets could be seized.
The court was told that they had benefited from £300,000 from their crimes but that Foster had no realisable assets.
But Cooper was said to have recoverable assets of £59,006, which included £20,000 in cash found when police raided Home House Farm in Little Sutton where the couple were living.
However, Chris Milligan, mitigating, told the hearing that Cooper was likely to remain in custody until December and may face problems selling her stake in the Kenyan property.
“The £20,000 in the hands of the police has already been disclaimed by her.
The figure outstanding is £39,000. That is her share of the property in Kenya which is jointly owned between her and her brother,” Mr Milligan said.
Cooper’s remaining assets are made up of her half share in a holiday home located on Kenya’s Diani Beach, near Mombasa, valued at £39,006.
Recorder Nigel Daly told Cooper that unless the full figure of £59,006 was confiscated from her by August 1 she would face an extra 20 months in prison in default.
Foster was given 28 days to pay back the nominal sum of just £1 or face an extra day in custody.
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