THREE family members have been ordered to pay more than £47,000 they made from selling illegal cigarettes.

The trio from Crook have been ordered to pay as a result of confiscation proceeds brought against them by Durham County Council.

Ian Edward Smales, 48, and his wife Linda Smales, 44, both of Hawes Crescent, and their daughter Kimberley Smales, 25, of Honister Square all pleaded guilty last year to offences concerning the possession and supply of illicit tobacco.

Durham Crown Court sentenced Ian Smales to eight weeks in prison, suspended for a year in February last year while Linda Smales was ordered to carry out 100 hours unpaid work and Kimberley Smales 150 hours.

Now the court has ordered the three to repay some of the money they made.

The proceeds of crime potentially recoverable from the three was determined at more than £126,000 but the amount they were ordered to repay was based on their available assets at the time.

Ian Smales was ordered to pay £24,871, Linda Smales to pay £15,421 and Kimberley Smales £7,047.

Each was given six months to pay or face a prison sentence.

The court has previously heard that Ian Smales started selling the counterfeit cigarettes from his home, after his benefits were temporarily stopped.

After the latest hearing, Joanne Waller, head of environment health and consumer protection with Durham County Council, said: “This should serve as a warning to anyone who deals in illicit tobacco that not only will you end up with a criminal record but will also be pursued for all the benefits you have received as a result of your criminal lifestyle.”