Court confiscates drug dealer’s money

Samuel Worden,  of Wellington Road, Lancaster, jailed for dealing drugs to killer Jamie Armstrong and his victim Luke Hollingsworth in Carlisle
Samuel Worden, of Wellington Road, Lancaster, jailed for dealing drugs to killer Jamie Armstrong and his victim Luke Hollingsworth in Carlisle
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A drug dealer said by a judge to carry a “heavy responsibility” over the murder of a young man has been stripped of his profits.

Samuel Worden, 28, from Lancaster, was identified last year as the dealer who supplied killer Jamie Armstrong and his victim Luke Hollingsworth.

Armstrong, 23, stabbed his former pal to death at a house in Etterby, Carlisle, in July 2013.

The pair had fallen out over a drugs debt owed to Worden, who had supplied them with cannabis on credit, and though Armstrong had denied killing his friend, he was convicted last year and jailed for a minimum of 25 years.

Worden later admitted dealing cannabis between April and July of 2013 and was jailed for nearly four years – a sentence he is currently serving.

He has been back before a judge at Carlisle Crown Court as police completed the process of clawing back the money he made from dealing drugs.

Kim Whittlestone, prosecuting, told Recorder Timothy Rider that Worden’s financial benefit from his drug dealing had been assessed as being £167,712.

His available assets were said to be £32,094 – £19,000 of which police already have in their possession.

The Recorder ruled that the remaining available amount of around £13,000 must be handed over by the defendant within six months. If he fails to do that he will have to serve 12 months in jail in default.

After the hearing, Detective Sergeant Stephanie Siddle, from Cumbria Police’s Economic Crime Unit, said: “Worden has now been An in depth financial investigation was carried out alongside officers involved in the criminal investigation, with the aim of establishing the extent of Worden’s criminality and identifying his assets.

“Worden has now been stripped of his assets, and if he fails to pay the order he will be sent back to jail.”

At an earlier hearing, Judge Paul Batty QC told Worden that he carried a “heavy responsibility” for the horrific violence that led to the death of Mr Hollingsworth.

He told him: “If you had not been supplying these men with such amounts of cannabis and had you not been operating the credit system, I have no doubt that this murder would not have taken place.”

Worden, of Wellington Road, Lancaster, admitted bringing into the Carlisle area at least 10kg of cannabis.

Mr Hollingsworth and Armstrong, of Warwick Road, Carlisle, were two of the suppliers he was providing with the Class B drug.

Worden gave them such large amounts of the drug that they were able to set up as dealers in their own right.

At the earlier hearing, Miss Whittlestone told the court: “The prosecution say the defendant played a leading role in the commercial sale of cannabis to Jamie Armstrong, Luke Hollingsworth and others in the area.”

Mr Hollingsworth had been a friend of Worden, whose barrister said he had been “devastated” by his death.

He also considered Armstrong to be a friend, the court was told. Judge Batty sentenced Worden to three years and nine months in prison.

Mr Hollingsworth was found dead on July 10, 2013, after he failed to turn up to work at the Woodrow Wilson pub in Botchergate, Carlisle.