Former cop must pay back crime cash

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A former Lincolnshire Police officer who turned to a life of crime faces losing his home after being jailed for his role in running a cannabis factory at former RAF Hemswell.

Paul Lewsey, 50, who had also previously served in the Grenadier Guards, was a highly respected officer with the force for 12 years.

But he switched to crime and was arrested last summer after police found an underground cannabis bunker at the former RAF base.

Lewsey, of Church Lane, North Carlton, admitted producing a controlled drug between 10th August and 23rd September 2012.

He was jailed for three years and four months earlier this year and this week had his available assets seized on the orders of a judge.

Judge Michael Heath ruled Lewsey benefitted from his crime by £257,934 and ordered him to hand over his available assets of £12,954. Lewsey was given six months to produce the money or face an extra eight months in jail.

The prosecution told Lincoln Crown Court: “There are available assets of £12,954 which can be seized. This will rely primarily on the house being sold.”

Lewsey was arrested after undercover offices spotted him ferrying 25-litre containers of water into the specially constructed cannabis factory.

The building took weeks to build using steel beams and breeze blocks and was buried underground to avoid detection. Cannabis plants found inside were capable of producing £150,000 worth of the drug.

Lewsey also used his own home as a nursery. When police raided his premises they found 117 seedlings waiting to be transferred to the bunker.

Jeremy Janes, prosecuting, said: “It can only be described as an impressive bunker for the growing of cannabis.”

“There were two separate rooms each about 20 metres by three metres in dimension. The two growing rooms were separated by a row of steel poles. There were three generators on site.”

“It is estimated the cost of building the bunker and the extra bits and pieces would have been £35,000. Mr Lewsey was intimately involved.”

One of Lewsey’s accomplices was 38-year-old Simon Hopps, who was jailed in 1994 for manslaughter. Hopps, of Dunholme, also admitted producing a controlled drug and was jailed for 16 months.