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Drugs case couple ordered to pay £844
10:14am Tuesday 2nd October 2012 in News
A DISGRACED former solicitor and his ex-girlfriend were ordered to pay a total of £844 in proceeds of crime following a conviction for drug possession.
Bernard Ridsdale Tombling and Lisa Beatrice Hutchinson were found with an estimated £8,000-worth of amphetamine at the home they shared at the time, in Sedgefield, County Durham.
Police made the discovery after being called to a report of a disturbance at the property, in Wellgarth Mews, shortly after 7am on Sunday, March 27, last year.
Tombling, 57, now of Thirsk Road, Kirklevington, Yarm, and 34-year-old Hutchinson, of Wellgarth Mews, admitted possessing the class B drug, but denied intending to supply it, at their trial at Durham Crown Court in July.
The prosecution claimed a note found at the house appeared to contain suggestions relating to the setting up of an escort agency, which failed to get off the ground.
But Tombling said the large amount of drugs was for their own personal use and, following a three-day trial, the pair were both cleared of possession with intent to supply.
Tombling, who was struckoff as a solicitor in 2000 following a conviction for defrauding the legal aid board, was ordered to perform 120 hours of unpaid work as part of a 12-month community order imposed for the drug offence in August.
Hutchinson was ordered to carry out 80 hours’ unpaid work.
Following inquiries into their means, the case of both was listed for a Proceeds of Crime hearing yesterday.
Lee Fish, prosecuting, asked for a confiscation order of £422 against each of them, but confirmed the money had already been paid by Tombling.
Judge Christopher Prince agreed to make the order in that sum.
Scott Smith, for Hutchinson, confirmed that her element of that sum had been paid by Tombling.