Illegal ‘conveyor belt’ puppy seller must pay back £60k

illegal conveyor belt puppy seller must pay back 60k - Illegal 'conveyor belt' puppy seller must pay back £60kImage copyright Gloucestershire News Service
Image caption Hancock was jailed for nine months in 2018 for conning customers into thinking they were buying family raised pets

A man who ran an illegal puppy farm from his home in Gloucestershire has been ordered to pay back the profits.

Leigh Hancock, formerly of Lydney, was jailed for nine months in 2018 for conning customers into thinking they were buying family-raised pets.

Gloucester Crown Court was told he had sold a “conveyor belt” of puppies. He was ordered to pay back £60,436.50 within three months or face jail.

His lawyer, James Tucker, said Hancock would have to sell the family home.

Hancock, now of Old Dry Arch Cottages, Ross on Wye, Herefordshire, admitted nine trading standards false description offences after placing more than 60 adverts for the animals online between July 2016 and March 2017.

In the adverts he claimed the dogs were from accidental litters and brought up in a family home.

Image copyright Gloucestershire News Service
Image caption Litters of puppies were found in Leigh Hancock’s back garden in an adapted shed

Trading standard’s officers found him breeding labrador, retriever and collie puppies commercially in a hidden outbuilding behind his home on Rodley Road, Lydney.

He also tried to conceal more than £23,000 from the authorities, to prevent the cash being seized as proceeds of crime.

Hancock also admitted one charge of possessing criminal property – more than £23,000 which he withdrew from his bank account to try to prevent the cash being seized as proceeds of crime.

At Gloucester Crown Court Mr Tucker, said the figure of more than £60,000 “had been agreed between all parties” but it was a “financial disaster” for his client.

“This represents the selling of the family home. He has only a modest income as a gardener,” he said.

Judge Ian Lawrie QC warned Hancock if he defaulted on making the payment by 24 November he would be jailed for two years.

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