Cumbria Crack

Kendal drugs supply criminal who made £81,000 to hand back just £1

Lewis Backstrom

[A] KENDAL drugs supply crook who made more than £81,000 from his criminal exploits has been ordered by a judge to pay back just £1.

Lewis Backstrom, 24, was one of six men and women who received prison terms totalling almost three decades earlier this year.

Carlisle Crown Court heard Liverpudlian Backstrom and his partners-in-crime – including three Kendal-based defendants – plotted to flood the town with heroin and cocaine.

All later confessed to taking part in a 45-day conspiracy which was said to have generated £2,000-worth of business on an almost daily basis. Through this, scores of local drug users were alerted to the availability of illicit substances via group texts sent from a Merseyside-based “dirty” phones.

As the gang were sentenced, Cumbria police set about trying to claw back their ill-gotten gains through the Proceeds of Crime Act.

And at the crown court today (FRI) cash was seized from three Merseyside-based criminals.

Judge Tony Lancaster heard Backstrom had profited from his criminal exploits to the tune of £81,250. However, due to a lack of any assets he was ordered to hand over the nominal sum of just £1.

Thomas McClennan and James Powell, both aged 22 and from Liverpool, were ordered to hand over criminal gains of £135 and £180, respectively. McClennan had actually benefited to the tune of £10,000, the court heard.

After the gang members’ sentencing in February, a Cumbria police spokesman had said: “We will continue to pursue those involved in this serious crime to ensure they are brought to justice.”