Drugs Conspiracy Duo Have Assets Seized

Friday, 22 October 2021 

Proceeds of Crime orders worth almost £400,000 have been granted by the courts against two people convicted following a drugs conspiracy investigation. 

At Bradford Crown Court yesterday (Thursday) Richard Brown and Julie Firth had orders totalling £380,000 and £19,000 served on them respectively by His Honour Judge Burn. 

Brown, aged 57, of Lincombe Drive in Gledhow, Leeds was jailed for ten years and three months in January 2018 after he pleaded to conspiring to supply cocaine. 

Firth, aged 51, of Farfield Crescent in Bradford, was given a suspended sentence in November 2018, after she was found guilty of being an occupier of premises for the supply of Class A drugs. 

Both were given three months to pay and default sentences of two years and six months respectively, if they fail to meet these conditions. 

They were among six defendants convicted under Operation Fiveward, which was launched in August 2017 when several vehicles and residences in Doncaster and Bradford were searched as part of a pre-planned operation by West Yorkshire Police.  

Officers seized a large amount of cocaine and amphetamine with a combined ‘street value’ in excess of £324,000.

The defendants, all of whom have now had POCA confiscations obtained against them, received sentences of more than 40 years following their convictions in 2018, which were broken down as follows:

Sherman Mallinson, aged 55 of Sceptre Grove in New Rossington, Doncaster, was jailed for 13 years after he was found guilty of conspiring to supply cocaine. 

John Lowcock, aged 47, of Smith Square in Balby, Doncaster received a sentence of nine years and two months after he pleaded to conspiring to supply cocaine and amphetamine. 

Matthew Billings, aged 28, of Woodlands Road in Woodlands, Doncaster 
was served with a seven-year sentence for conspiring to supply cocaine. 

Melissa Callear, aged 42 of Boundary Avenue in Wheatley Hills, Doncaster, was given a three-year custodial sentence for conspiring to supply cocaine.

Financial Investigation Manager, David Charity, said: 

“These confiscation orders bring Operation Fiveward to a successful conclusion.  

“Brown is now facing a significant prison sentence and the loss of his assets. 

“This is testament to a thorough investigation by a number of departments working towards our commitment under Programme Precision to tackle serious and organised crime in West Yorkshire.  

“West Yorkshire Police will continue to work with the Crown Prosecution Service to seize assets from criminals to send out a warning to all that crime does not pay.” 

Anyone with information about people living off the proceeds of crime can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or online. 

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