Leeds crime family must pay back £750,000

Gwynne Hollis.
Gwynne Hollis.
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A family who funded a luxury lifestyle during a seven-year deception laundering cash have been ordered to re-pay almost three-quarters of a million pounds of their ill-gotten gains.

Career crook Gwynne Hollis - father of Emmerdale actress Kelli Hollis - his partner Sharon Miller, and her mother Joan Miller deposited large sums of cash in their bank accounts and used some of it to buy a property in Spain worth £153,000.

In June last year Hollis, 55, was jailed for 18 months after pleading guilty to conspiracy to convert criminal property.

Sharon, 47, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to convert criminal property and converting criminal property. Joan, 72, was found guilty of conspiracy to convert criminal property and converting criminal property. Both woman were given community orders. All three were brought back to Leeds Crown Court this week to face a confiscation hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The court heard Hollis benefitted to the sum of £333,046 as a result of his criminal conduct. He was ordered to pay the amount within six months. Sharon was ordered to pay £218,272 and Joan was ordered to pay £182,324 within the same period.

Hollis and Sharon lived together at a property on Common Lane, East Ardsley, and her mother lived within the grounds of her daughter’s home. An investigation revealed significant sums were paid into their accounts between 2003 and 2010, for which there was no legitimate explanation.

Michael Smith, prosecuting, said: “The irresistible inference is that the bulk of the criminal property originated from the activities of Gwynne Hollis. Given his background in drugs, the inference would be that he was the source of the money.”

In 1999, Hollis played the part of a ruthless drugs baron in acclaimed TV drama Tina Goes Shopping. Two years later he was jailed for a real-life drug offence after being caught in possession of drugs with an estimated street value of more than £30,000. Back in 2001 his daughter Kelly, who played Tina in the acclaimed drama who know plays the role of Ali Spencer in the Dales soap, wept in court as her father was jailed. The film, which earned a Bafta nomination, plucked council tenants from Leeds to portray life on a fictitious estate.

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