Burglar and his partner ordered to repay ill gotten gains


Following a complex police inquiry in two stages code named Operation Coda I & II a professional house burglar and his partner, having earlier been convicted and sentenced, have now been ordered to repay the proceeds of their crimes.

Lee Morris (also known as Lee Crowley) was convicted in relation to his involvement in a series of dwelling house burglaries between December 2007 and July 2008 and was sentenced to ten years imprisonment on 18 May 2009.

On 9 April 2010 Lee Morris was found to have benefited from his crimes in the sum of £611,213 and ordered to repay £140,000 or to serve two years imprisonment.

Hayley Hughes (also known as Leanne Turner) was convicted of money laundering offences relating to possession of some of the property stolen during the course of the burglaries committed by Morris, along with other criminally obtained property. On 26 June 2010, Ms Hughes was sentenced to two years imprisonment (reduced on appeal to 12 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months).

On 24 November 2012, Hayley Hughes was found to have benefited from her criminal activity in the sum £372,635 and was ordered to repay £126,635 out her remaining assets.

Neil Fielding, Special Casework Lawyer from the West Midlands CPS Complex Casework Unit, said: "The search of the three bedroom detached property owned by Hughes suggested that Morris and Hughes were living a lifestyle far beyond their legitimate means. This led to a detailed investigation into their finances which ultimately proved that much of what was apparent was not paid for legitimately.

"For lifestyle criminals such as Lee Morris and Hayley Hughes money is the main motivation for their criminality. Cases such as this demonstrate the determination of the police and CPS to pursue the perpetrators of such criminal offences and the money this generates."