Weymouth gunman tells court he 'smoked' criminal profits

Armed robber Colin Douglas

Armed robber Colin Douglas

First published in News

ARMED robber Colin Douglas has told a court he has smoked over £27,000 of his criminal profits.

The 27-year-old, who sparked a major police manhunt after robbing the Abbotsbury Road Post Office in Weymouth at gunpoint in March 2011, appeared at Dorchester Crown Court today via video link from HMP Long Lartin in Worcestershire for a hearing relating to an application under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Douglas was sentenced to a minimum of nine years in prison in December 2011 for a total of 18 offences including two armed robberies, arson and burglary.

The charges related to a crime spree from February 12 to March 4 that year that included the robbery and false imprisonment of Portland taxi driver Derrick Thorner as well as the armed robbery at the Post Office.

At the latest hearing prosecutor Nicholas Robinson said the total benefit figure the Crown Prosecution Service claimed Douglas had made from his criminal activity was £51,952.

He said the total amount believed to be available for confiscation was £27,059.59.

This figure was made up of the £28,000 taken from the Post Office robbery minus £1,000 that was recovered at the scene after falling from the defendant's bag.

Mr Robinson said the Crown would be seeking an order that would give Douglas six months to pay the sum, and if he failed to do so he would face a period of imprisonment of between 12 and 18 months in default.

Douglas, who admitted he had previously been on drugs whilst in custody, told the court he no longer had any of the money left to pay.

He said: "There is no money, I basically smoked the money whilst I was in prison."

The case was adjourned for Douglas to seek legal advice and file a statement showing that he had no assets available to seize.

The case was listed for another hearing in the week commencing March 11, when Douglas is expected to be produced at court in person.

Douglas will serve a minimum of nine years in prison on his current sentence and must then convince parole board officials he is no longer a danger to the public.

Judge Roger Jarvis confirmed that if an order is made for Douglas to pay the money and he is unable to do so then any prison sentence in default would be likely to be served consecutively to his existing sentence.

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