£10k seized from convicted drug dealer who sued prison after release
A convicted drug dealer who won £21,000 in compensation following an accident in the prison where he was serving his sentence has been ordered to hand over nearly half of his pay out.
Stephen Hall, 55, formerly of Torquay but now living in Clarendon Road, Hove, was sentenced to four years in 2010 after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply class A drugs. At the time, the figure by which he had benefited from crime was set at £20,969. However, he had just £1 in the bank.
Financial Investigators from the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit (SW ROCU) revisited his case in 2017 and discovered he had nearly £15,000 in his bank accounts.
The SW ROCU’s Asset Confiscation Enforcement Team supervisor Paul Phillips was in court. He said: “In addition to a significant compensation pay out, we also discovered Hall had recently taken holidays in Amsterdam and Iceland, despite his bank accounts being frozen and him claiming to live on £700 a month in benefits.
“Throughout the confiscation proceedings, Hall has argued that he needs to keep the money to fund private treatment for PTSD, partly triggered by his accident in HMP Channings Wood.
“Like us, the Judge was not convinced. He now has three months to pay the money or he faces a further six months in jail.
“As this case shows, even if someone has served their sentence, we will continue to go after any money or assets they hide or make in future until they’ve paid up what they earned through their crime.”