A FORMER South Derbyshire man has been ordered to pay back more than £400,000 he obtained in his role as part of a multi-million pound illegal steroids empire.
Colin Lathbury, formerly of Swadlincote, was one of four conspirators in the racket to have nearly £4 million of their assets confiscated.
In a hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court, in Essex, Judge Charles Gratwicke ruled the 56-year-old, currently serving a two-and-a-half-year jail sentence for conspiracy to supply Class C drugs, obtained £608,656.20p illegally.
Lathbury, now of Jurby East, on the Isle of Man, was ordered to pay back £412,676.50p within six months or face another 42 months behind bars.
The illegal anabolic steroids operation was led by Patrick Hyland, assisted by his former wife, Hyacinth, described as the money laundering ‘brains’ of the operation.
The Hylands were said to have funded a lavish lifestyle of expensive houses, boats, cars, jewellery, art and luxury holidays on the illegal profits of the drugs sourced from the Czech Republic in huge quantities.
Judge Gratwicke ruled that Patrick Hyland, 49, of Great Saling, near Braintree, Essex, made £5,142,110.40p illegal profits and that assets totalling £596,047.66 should be confiscated, with four years’ prison in default of him paying within six months.
Hyacinth Hyland, who lives in an £850,000 house, in Wheelers Hill, Little Waltham, Chelmsford, was said to have received £4,359,306.20 illegally and was ordered to hand over £732,939.26 within 12 months or serve four years in default.
She was jailed for two years for her role while her husband received a four and a half year sentence in December last year, but both are now out of prison on licence.
Another of their co-accused, Sanjay Mistry, 44, formerly of Lodge Close, Watford, and now of Russell Road, Northolt, north London, received a suspended 12- month jail term.
The judge ruled that he criminally obtained £1,401,673.50 and has £100,000 in realisable assets. He must pay that in six months or face two years in default.
Lathbury had recruited Stephen Griffin, of Russell Street, Swadlincote, to receive 18 parcels. Griffin received a nine-month suspended jail sentence last year, but he and another conspirator, administration and office manager Michael Cork, 72, of Shalford, Braintree, did not face confiscation moves.
The steroids racket emerged during a police investigation into the disappearance of known dealer Paul Duckenfield, who left Derby for Portugal in 2005 but is believed to have friends in South Derbyshire.
After the confiscation hearing Detective Inspector Martin Pasmore, of the Kent and Essex serious crime directive, said police were still treating as murder Paul Duckenfield’s disappearance and renewed an appeal for information.