Drug dealer ordered to hand back just £5,000

PUBLISHED: 14:16 04 September 2006 | UPDATED: 22:10 28 May 2010

Betty Warden

Betty Warden

A MEMBER of a notorious family-run drugs cartel has been ordered to hand over just £5,000 - despite making £130,000 from criminal activity. Judge Gareth Hawkesworth, sitting at Cambridge Crown Court, warned Betty Warden that if she did not pay-up she coul

A MEMBER of a notorious family-run drugs cartel has been ordered to hand over just £5,000 - despite making £130,000 from criminal activity.

Judge Gareth Hawkesworth, sitting at Cambridge Crown Court, warned Betty Warden that if she did not pay-up she could face another six months in prison.

The 34-year-old was jailed for 18 months last June for her role in a "supermarket-style" drugs business which flooded Cambridgeshire with deadly substances.

She is the daughter of husband and wife team Barry and Mavis Warden who maintained a carefully-nurtured image of being poor and unemployed while supplying cannabis and cocaine throughout Cambridge and the county.

Despite the family's modest appearance, the empire they built up from their former council home in Wisbech funded a lavish lifestyle, including top-of-the-range vehicles, a speedboat and exotic holidays.

Undercover police infiltrated the gang during a six-month operation, codenamed Morpheus. They even flew to Barbados on holiday with some of its members.

Now, each family member will have to empty the accounts into which some of their profits were stashed and sell their homes, cars and jewellery in an attempt to recover some of their ill-gotten gains.

Ringleaders Barry, 61, and Mavis, 55, along with sons Richard and Barry junior admitted to benefiting to the tune of more than £1million from their lucrative business in June this year.

They have already been ordered to pay back more than £300,000.

In the latest hearing the prosecution and defence team agreed that Betty had raked in £51,672 from her involvement in drug dealing and a total of £133,716.93 including profits from other criminal conduct.

But police could only track down £5,076 worth of assets - including a car and computer - and Betty denied she had a stake in a house in Ireland.

She was warned that if it was later found that she had lied she would be hauled back before the judge for another confiscation hearing.

She now has until January 1 to come up with the cash.

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