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Ellesmere Port man convicted of drugs offences ordered to pay back thousands

A CONVICTED cannabis dealer has been ordered to hand over more than £6,000 after a court ruled that his money came from criminal activity.

Robert Charles Cottrell, 33, was convicted of possession of cannabis with intent to supply and possession of cocaine in August last year, and sentenced to 21 months in prison.

Following Cottrell’s arrest, Cheshire Constabulary’s Financial Investigation Unit began an investigation euqaily for all drug usersinto his finances.

On Friday, Cottrell of Pensby Drive, Ellesmere Port, was produced from prison to appear before Chester Crown Court for a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing.

During the hearing, Cottrell accepted that he had benefited from his crimes by more than £11,000 and that his assets added up to £6,198.65.

The court ordered Cottrell to pay £6,198.65 within 14 days.

Should Cottrell not pay within 14 days, he will still owe the money, but will also have a further four months added to his prison sentence.

A spokesman for Cheshire Constabulary Financial Investigation Unit said: “The proceeds of Crime Act allows the court to order the forfeiture of property or money that we have grounds to believe has come from criminal activity or is going to be used in criminal activity.

“This case sends out the very strong message to anyone involved in the supply of drugs that crime certainly does not pay.

“Not only do criminals run the risk of losing their liberty, but the Financial Investigation Unit will also use powers available under the provisions of the Proceeds of Crime Act to ensure that those convicted of drug offences will be stripped of the profits they have made from crime.”

By Gary Porter

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