Prison’s pay-out to drug dealer over wrong food is seized back by court
- Credit: Archant
A man jailed for 25 years after Suffolk’s biggest drugs haul must hand over £4,500 he was awarded in damages after prison authorities did not give him kosher food, to pay back his criminal profits.
The Ministry of Justice made the settlement after Frederick Colverson, who suffers from colitis and has had half his liver removed, spent time in the prison hospital as a result of his dietary requirements not being met, Ipswich Crown Court heard.
David Lister, for Colverson, told the court the prison authorities were aware that his client’s diet needed to be dealt with cautiously and that there could be a serious effect on his health if it was not followed.
“It’s not just about him being deprived of his rights as an adherent to Judaism,” said Mr Lister, who argued it would be unjust to deprive Colverson of the money.
The court heard that after the claim was settled a restraint order was made on the money pending today’s hearing, during which Judge John Devaux granted an application by the Crown Prosecution Service to add it to an earlier £377,000 confiscation order.
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Colverson, 62, of east London, and Suffolk company director Terance Smith were jailed for a total of 45 years after 174kg of cocaine were found when police raided an industrial unit in Highbury Road, Brandon.
The consignment had come through Felixstowe Docks.
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During the pair’s Ipswich Crown Court trial in 2012 the Class A drugs, which were hidden in the bottom of boxes of pineapples, were said to be worth £34million.
A proceeds of crime confiscation hearing in relation to Colverson in 2015 heard the benefit from his offending was £2,618,594 and his realisable assets were £407,683.
A confiscation order was made for that amount but in December 2016 that amount was reduced to £377,000 after the court was told that vehicles belonging to Colverson had failed to reach their initial assessed value.
Colverson had denied conspiring to supply Class A drugs but was convicted after a trial.
Smith, who is in his 60’s, of Ethelreda Drive, Thetford, admitted conspiring to supply Class A drugs and was jailed for 20 years.