Hartlepool cannabis growers ordered to pay £25,000 for their crimes


Three men who oversaw the growing of cannabis in three houses have been ordered to pay £25,000 as the proceeds of crime.

Phillip Nelson, Christian Sharp, and Eric Thomson were jailed last year after they admitted producing class B drugs.

They were arrested and charged after police found cannabis growing in three properties linked to the men.

About 1.4kg of cannabis was found in the houses, and the street value of a year’s crop was estimated to be £25,850.

All three men have now been released from their prison sentences.

But each was back before Teesside Crown Court for a hearing to determine if they had any cash or assets that could be seized as profits from drug dealing.

Sam Faulks, prosecuting, told the court agreement on amounts to be confiscated had been reached following out of court negotiation between defence and prosecution lawyers.

“The overall benefit from this criminal enterprise was £25,000,” said Mr Faulks.

“The full sum will be realisable from the available assets of the three men.

“Following recent case law in relation to cases involving several defendants, only the total sum of £25,000 will be recovered.

“The defendants should know there will be no double or treble counting.”

Nelson was ordered to pay his available assets of £6,060 as the proceeds of crime.

Thomson was ordered to pay £231.60, which is cash seized from him when arrested.

Sharpe, described as the ring leader, must pay £18,708.04 to make up a total payment of £25,000.

The court heard that if the others do not pay, Sharpe must pay the full £25,000.

At last year’s sentenced hearing, Sharpe, 57, of Ardrossan Road, Hartlepool, was jailed for nine months.

Nelson, 57, of Marske Street, and Thomson, 58, of Schooner Court, both Hartlepool, were each jailed for 10 months.