Bodybuilders to repay crime cash

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TWO bodybuilders who sold illegal steroids have been ordered to pay back over £65,000 of their ill-gotten gains.

Christopher Taylor, aged 45, of Haugh Green, Rawmarsh, Rotherham, and Richard Flynn, 41, of Manor Close, Rawmarsh, plotted to import a human growth hormone called hygetropin, as well as selling other body-building supplements.

The pair were handed suspended jail sentences in 2009 for their crimes - but will now have to repay the money they made following a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing.

Taylor made £58,243, with available assets of £52,480. He must pay the smaller amount within six months or face 18 months’ imprisonment.

Flynn profited by £81,233, and had £13,000 in available assets. He was ordered to pay £13,000 within two months, or go to jail for a month.

The drugs racket was uncovered following an investigation by South Yorkshire Police and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.

Most of the steroids had been imported from China between June 2007 and October 2008.

Taylor and Flynn both admitted supplying class C drugs. Taylor was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment suspended for a year, with 80 hours of unpaid work, while Flynn received a year-long sentence suspended for 18 months with 120 hours’ unpaid work.

Financial investigator Darren Walsh, from South Yorkshire Police’s economic crime unit, said: “This was a well-organised commercial venture into the importation and sale of human growth hormones.

“The Proceeds of Crime Act allows the police to pursue, through the courts, the confiscation of assets of those involved in criminality to ensure that crime does not pay. The legislation has been used to great effect in this case.”