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Posted on 11:33:00 on 19th May 2017

A Carlisle heroin dealer who was jailed for nine years in July 2016 has been ordered to hand over more than £17,000 or face further jail time.

At a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing yesterday (18 May, 2017), Stuart Hardy, 26, was ordered by Recorder David Swinnerton to repay £17,267.59 – funds which he deemed to be available to Hardy.

Hardy must repay the money within three months or serve a further nine-month jail sentence.

If Hardy does not pay the £17,000 and receives the extra jail term, the debt will not be wiped. He will still be liable for it on his release from prison.

Recorder Swinnerton found that Hardy had benefitted from his criminality to gain a total of £51,413.62. If, in future, he is found to have further money or assets which could go towards paying this off, he could face further proceedings to recover the full amount.

Hardy was jailed for nine years in July 2016 after it was proved that he organised at least one illegal shipment of heroin out of Leeds in the summer of 2015.

The sentencing Judge Peter Davies heard Hardy made two other trips to West Yorkshire in July 2015 and concluded that more than a kilogram of the drug had been smuggled into Cumbria during the conspiracy.

During the sentencing Judge Davies told Hardy: “You were senior in the hierarchy, I regard you as a serious player.”

After he was sentenced, a Proceeds of Crime Act investigation was then launched by Cumbria Constabulary.

A spokesperson from Cumbria Constabulary said: “This case should make people think twice before getting involved in crime as a way to make money.

“A police investigation isn’t over when criminals are sentenced in court. We continue to tackle criminals and work hard to reclaim the money that they have gained from their crimes through the Proceeds of Crime Act in order give it back to their victims or the community they’ve affected.

“Crime doesn’t pay and Police will continue to work very closely with partner agencies to ensure that criminals are targeted and any financial gain they make as a result of their crimes is seized.”

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