£865,000 drug ring man has to pay back just £1

Kevin Dudley
Kevin Dudley

A drugs courier from South Tyneside, who made more than £865,000 from his part in a cocaine dealing ring, has been ordered to pay just £1 from the proceeds of crime.

Kevin Dudley has no assets that can be realised under legislation to prevent criminals profiting from crime, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Asa Dobbing

Asa Dobbing

Dudley, 22, of Hadrian Park, Jarrow, was a member of a drugs gang - headed by Sunderland brothers Asa and Aidan Dobbing.

During his trial, the court heard Dudley made several trips to the midlands and south of England to bring back drugs.

Money for each consignment was provided by Asa Dobbing.

Telecommunications analyst Darren Irving told a jury he had linked a number of mobile phones to the gang and tracked their movements using cell site analysis.

Aidan Dobbing

Aidan Dobbing

“A picture emerged which is indicative of couriering,” said Mr Irving.

The court heard Asa Dobbing was the only signatory to a bank account belonging to his Aspect Garage business in Seaham.

On December 18, 2013, £10,000 was withdrawn from the account at the NatWest bank in Fawcett Street, Sunderland.

“A mobile phone linked to defendant Kevin Dudley was sited nearby,” said Nick Dry, prosecuting. “The phone was tracked to a hotel in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, before returning the next day.

“The same thing happened again on January 7 after £7,000 had been withdrawn, again on January 9 after £10,150 had been withdrawn, and again on January 10 after £3,500 had been withdrawn.

“We say these findings are consistent with courier trips to the south to buy drugs.”

Dudley, 22, enied conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

He was convicted after a trial in 2016.

Judge Howard Crowson jailed Dudley for six years and nine months at a sentencing hearing last year.

An investigation to discover if Dudley has any assets which can be seized as the proceeds of crime was completed this month.

Dudley is not expected to pay the nominal £1, but the Benefit from Crime order means he can be pursued should he acquire cash or assets in future.