A drugs courier caught transporting a £40,000 illegal drugs cargo through Cumbria during a coronavirus lockdown has been ordered to surrender more than £7,000 of ill-gotten gains.
Shaun David McCafferty, 33, was stopped while travelling on the M6 northbound between Penrith and Carlisle on November 6.
Police were unimpressed with the explanation he gave for his journey with tight national coronavirus restrictions in force. And when his Ford Focus was searched, high purity crack cocaine and also heroin — potentially worth almost £40,000 in total — was found hidden in various parts of the vehicle’s interior.
McCafferty — a repeat substance supply offender who had received prison sentences in 2016, 2017 and 2019 — was jailed for five-and-a-half years in December at Carlisle Crown Court.
Financial investigators went to work in a bid to claw back illegally-obtained cash using tough Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) legislation.
And McCafferty was back at the crown court this afternoon, attending a hearing remotely over a video link from custody.
Barrister Robert Dudley, defending, told Judge Paul Lawton that McCafferty wanted to “get everything over and done with” in relation to the POCA application. “He may not agree with everything the prosecution set out,” said Mr Dudley. “He is not proposing to contest any of it.”
As a result, McCafferty’s benefit figure from his criminal conduct was agreed by all parties to be £62,816.38. His available assets amounted to £7,364.20 which, said Mr Dudley, comprised the balance of two named bank accounts and value of the Focus the defendant was driving when committing the latest offence.
Judge Lawton made a confiscation order in the agreed amount, which must be paid within three months otherwise McCafferty, of Lincombe Road, Liverpool, faces four months in prison in default.