First jail now ‘pocket’ penalties for Leeds cannabis grower gang

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Four men from Leeds are facing demands to hand over tens of thousands of pounds in profits from a cannabis farm.

Ivan Bellwood, Grant Bilton. Peter Leek and James Cook were jailed for between six and nine months last June for producing cannabis at a factory in Ripon.

A proceeds of crime hearing has now found the quartet, along with David Peter Guest, 45, who lived in the Boroughbridge Road property, were found to have made nearly £56,000 from their illegal trade.

York Crown Court has ordered 49-year-old Bellwood, of East Park Mount, East End Park, and 32-year-old Cook, of Haw Lane, Yeadon, to repay £9,400 each.

Bilton, 23, of Broadway, Horsforth, and Leek, 37, of Whitecliffe Crescent, Swillington, will have to repay similar amounts once they have the assets to do so.

Guest will ultimately have to hand over £18,350.

Financial investigator Peter Mekins, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “Criminal activity does not pay and we will pursue criminals through the courts using the Proceeds of Crime Act to hit them in their pockets – where it hurts the most.

“We will be relentless in our pursuit of any outstanding debt should the three remaining defendants acquire any assets in the future.”

The men’s arrest and convictions came after officers executed a drugs warrant at a property in February 2011.

The value of the cannabis seized from the house was estimated to be around £47,000.

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