July 24 2014 Latest news:
by Jon Dean
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
A drug dealer jailed for seven years after a police raid found a total of £80,000 in cash and drugs has been ordered to pay back the money he made from crime.
Andrew Hitchman, 29, will have to pay the £16,740 that Islington police proved he made from illegal activities, Blackfriars Crown Court has ruled.
Hitchman was arrested last year after police raided a house in Westacott Close, Archway. It turned up £73,000 of crack cocaine and heroin, as well as £7,000 cash in a rucksack thrown from the window when police entered the building.
Forensic evidence linked Hitchman, of Dumbarton Avenue in Waltham Cross, to the bag and he was charged with possession with intent to supply.
A specialist team from Islington – the Payback Unit – proved he had earned £16,740 from his criminal lifestyle.
He must pay up within three months or face a further 10 months in prison – and will still have to pay the debt which will start gathering interest.
Trainee Det Con Matt Stevens said: “It was clear from this investigation that the defendant was acquiring significant wealth from his criminal activity at the expense of the local community.
“Drugs fuel other forms of crime where addicts offend to fund their addiction, and it is that offending that impacts on the community as a whole.
“The investigation has both prevented the defendant from obtaining a financial benefit from his crime and re-investing his illicit wealth to fund further drug dealing activity.”