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Golding Drugs Gang: Police detail possible further action

Crime / Fri 28th May 2021 pm31 07:46pm

THE SENIOR police officer in charge of the major drugs operation that saw seven Harlow men jailed for a total of 40 years has detailed what possible further action may be taken by the authorities.

YH spoke to Detective Chief Inspector Basford about the case and what happens next?

The news report may have referenced the length of each sentence. Chris Golding could have got up to sixteen years in prison. What he in fact got was twelve years with six on licence.

He could be out in five years. No wonder he looked like a relatively relieved man when Judge Walker sentenced him.

His defence lawyer mitigated that this was a family man, who had one previous conviction, had made a terrible mistake. He had, even in a short time, been model prisoner and had numerous testimonial from friends.

But there may be other “trials” heading down the track.

Two further courses of action were mentioned in Chelmsford Crown Court.

A Serious Crime Prevention Order (SCPO)

AN SCPO basically prevents or limits you from doing certain things

  • financial, property or business dealings;
  • working arrangements; 
  • with whom a person associates or communicates and the means used to do so; 
  • the premises they are allowed to use and for what purpose; 
  • the use of any item and 
  • travel both within UK and abroad

There is also the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (“POCA“) lays out the law in relation to the recovery of criminal resources with the criminal being one of the most commonly utilised energy. Appropriation normally only occurs following a sentence has transpired.

Simply put, the primary objective of POCA 2002 is to close technicalities as well as deny criminals of utilising their assets, restore the proceeds of crime and to reveal that crime does not compensate. It likewise has the impact of causing company people to reevaluate before carrying out a criminal enterprise and for those who advise this kind of people to give sturdy advice to ensure that such criminal enterprises don’t get going.

In short, any money, any investment, any financial relationship between the seven men and anyone else may come under scrutiny.

In court, details were given regard what was found in the Golding house at the time of the arrest in the early hours of October 8th, 2020. They also detailed what was in bank accounts, safes in a pub as well as what was found in his parents house when searched (electronic goods).

It is clear from the evidence regard in court that they key to unlocking the case was the access to Encro Chat.

EncroChat was a Europe-based communications network and service provider used by organized crime members to plan criminal activities. Police infiltrated the network between at least March and June 2020 during a Europe-wide investigation. 

The French authorities installed Malware and freedom there got access to Golding’s nickname (Hefty Lager) and conversations. In one conversation, Golding claimed he was selling up to 2kg of cocaine a week.

The court heard that through this and through mobile phone messages, there were hundreds upon hundreds of text messages with names, dates, times and facts.

Art imitates life but through Encrochat, the court revealed that Golding was Hefty Lager, Thurgood was Historic Honey. Question is, who was Butch Pizza?

Some of those who were jailed had/have nothing. Golding’s right hand man, Stuart Thurgood was a case in point. A wonderful footballer for teams such as Grays Athletic looked like a pale shadow of his self. However, he did have his family there as did a number of other defendants.

But as we say, incarceration is one thing. The Proceeds of Crime Act is another.

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