Drug dealer ordered to pay back £95,000 of his profits to the public purse

Stuart Melody
Stuart Melody

A DRUG dealer who was jailed after admitting running a cannabis factory has been ordered to pay back £95,000 of his ill gotten gains.

Stuart Mellody, 49, of St Kitts Road, St Leonards was jailed in September 2010 for three and a half years after admitting producing cannabis and illegally abstracting electricity.

He appeared before Lewes Crown Court last Friday where he was served with a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The order requires him to pay back £95,642 of criminal profits into public funds.

On September 7, 2010, officers from Sussex Police executed an intelligence lead drugs warrant at a property in Barnhorn Road, Bexhill.

More than 300 plants were found within the property which had been adapted solely for the use of producing cannabis with each room inside modified with an internal steel security door. The electricity in the property had also been tampered with to supply the cultivation.

The suppliers were forced to disconnect the property.

The investigation found that Mellody profited from his dealing which resulted in the confiscation order. If he fails to comply he will be sent back to prison for a further two years and still be required to pay the money back.

Inspector James Scott, of Rother Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “This is a great result and a thorough investigation successfully pursued by the investigating officer detective constable Carol Shoesmith.

“There then followed an extensive investigation into the defendant’s financial situation carried out by one of our expert financial investigators, Ellen Miller.

“A substantial amount of this money will be available to support crime prevention initiatives. A great example of a recent use for monies obtained through an order includes £5,000 being spent on CCTV in Rye town.”