Former councillor’s cannabis bill cut

Former Flamborough parish councillor Stephen Crowther

Former Flamborough parish councillor Stephen Crowther

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A former Flamborough parish councillor fighting police efforts to make him pay for his criminal lifestyle has succeeded in cutting his liability from £20,500 to £12,381.

Stephen Crowther, 59, was jailed for 15 months in October 2010 after boasting he was an anti-drug role-model to kids, but helped run a £7,000 drugs factory opposite his village shop.

Cannabis factory

Cannabis factory

Crowther used to run Flamborough DIY and rented out a vacant unit on the Bempton Industrial Estate, at Flamborough which was raided by police and found to have 123 cannabis plants.

There was growing tent, flower pots, heat lamps and electrical equipment. Cannabis worth £6,940 capable of delivering 348 street deals was found and confiscated by the courts.

Married Crowther formerly of Marine Valley, Flamborough, originally pleaded guilty to being concerned in the production of a controlled class B drug. He appeared at Hull Crown Court again (Thursday May 14). He has long been released from prison, lost his shop and resigned from the parish council. Crowther is still embroiled in the police process to recover his criminal assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act legislation.

Crown barrister Wendy Foster said the courts had ruled Crowther’s benefit from crime was more than £20,500. Ms Foster said at the time his sole asset was his pension worth the same amount. Crowther cashed it in, but he had to pay 40 per cent tax so has handed over just over £12,000 to the police. However, he has not paid the tax to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. He had used the tax money to pay off his creditors instead on paying off the tax.”

Ms Foster said the Crown was agreeable to varying the amount of his available assets downwards from £20,000 to £12,381 on condition he still paid the 40 per cent tax bill.

Crowther’s defence barrister Andrew Strannex agreed to the Crown’s suggestion. Judge Peter Benson told Crowther he was now varying the ordered of the court so his liability was just £12,381 as long as he paid the tax. He allowed Crowther to walk free. If the order is not completed then Crowther could be jailed again in default.