A cannabis grower is being forced to sell his home to pay back the £20,000 he made from his small scale skunk farm. Colin Wonnacott was originally landed with a confiscation order of £78,000 but was able to show that most of the money was legitimate earnings from his job as a self employed taxi driver.
He has been given six months to pay back the lower figure of £20,000 or face a year in jail after he was taken back to Exeter Crown Court under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
In the original Wonnacott, aged 46, of Gorlin Close, Exmouth, he admitted drug driving, production and possession of cannabis and was jailed for 16 months, suspended for a year, banned for driving for a year, and ordered to do 100 hours unpaid community work.
He crashed his car on the B 3190 near Ottery St Mary after misjudging an overtaking manoeuvre. When police arrived they saw him throw a bag over a hedge and later found more than £2,500 of home grown cannabis.
Officers raided his home and found 15 plants and he admitted being a heavy user who took cannabis to relieve muscle pain and had smoked a joint 30 minutes before the crash.
Judge Francis Gilbert, QC, rubberstamped an agreement between prosecution and defence Wonnacott should pay £20,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act within six months or serve 12 months in jail in default.
Miss Janice Eagles, for the prosecution, said: "We have reached an agreement that the amount he benefited from crime was £20,000 and the available amount it £118,343.81.”
Mr Stephen Nunn, for the defence, said the amount which Wonnacott was alleged to have made out of drugs has been reduced after his personal accounts were shown to police financial investigators.
North Devon Journal/May 2, 2015