Cheltenham man ordered to pay £22,000 proceeds of crime
By Court reporter | 17th November 2023
A Cheltenham man who was part of a gang which committed 42 burglaries across four counties has been ordered (November 16) to hand over £22,000 of the proceeds of his crime.
Gloucester Crown Court was told that Jason Hawkins, 30, of Shurdington Road, Cheltenham, has accepted that in total he benefited by £44,394.19 from his involvement with the criminal enterprise.
Prosecutor Robin Shellard said that Hawkins also accepted that £22,000 cash seized from him at the time of his arrest was part of his ill-gotten gains and stood to be forfeited under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
As the money was already in the hands of the police and Hawkins did not dispute the police case it could be confiscated forthwith, said Mr Shellard.
Judge Keith Cutler ordered that the money be formally handed over within seven days and he told Hawkins he will also have to pay a £170 surcharge.
Two years ago when Hawkins admitted a charge of transferring criminal property he was sentenced to thirteen months imprisonment.
Also before the court for a proceeds of crime hearing today was Ryan McCormick, 37, of Clyde Crescent, Cheltenham, who had admitted two charges of conspiracy to burgle between August 2019 and February 2020, one charge of conspiracy to steal, an additional burglary charge and an offence of transferring criminal property.
He was jailed for seven years four months. However, on November 16, he was on a 'day release' from his sentence at Leyhill Open Prison, Gloucestershire, and attended court for the proceeds of crime hearing in his case.
He is said to have more than £14,000 available for confiscation, most of it seized cash, but the court was told he disputes that some items were paid for with his criminal income.
Judge Cutler adjourned his case until February 8, 2024, when a two hour hearing will be held for the court to decide whether the disputed items are proceeds of crime or not.
The gang were all sentenced at Bristol Crown Court on December 8, 2021, by Judge Michael Cullum, who heard that the gang carried out burglaries of homes, shops and other business premises across Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire and Berkshire during a 7 month period from August 2019 to Feb 2020. Expensive fast cars parked on the driveways were often their target.
Towns and villages hit by the gang included Tewkesbury, Bourton on the Water, Tetbury, Bicester, Hungerford, Swindon, Witney, Chippenham and Burford.
"The gang of men worked together at different times and were involved in at least 42 burglaries in Gloucestershire and the Thames Valley police area between August 2019 and February 2020," said Mr Shellard at that time.
"The investigation revealed that the gang were involved in the theft of high powered cars following a burglary of the targeted homes and the subsequent theft of the keys from the property.
"Additionally, on one occasion, an innocent man was assaulted after trying to intervene during one commercial burglary.
"Other items stolen during the burglaries included jewellery and high value watches, which were later sold on from the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham.
"A large amount of mobile telephone investigation was involved along with the use of automatic number plate recognition cameras to establish the whereabouts of the defendants at any particular time and the location of stolen vehicles.
"The estimated cost of the offending is £616, 650. This is made up of the loss of items £508,000 and the damage caused to property amounted to £107,000."
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