Doncaster couple who laundered £100,000 and allowed home to be used as a warehouse for cannabis handed suspended sentences

A Doncaster couple, one of whom laundered over £115,000 while the other allowed their home to be used as a ‘warehouse’ for cannabis, have both walked away from court with suspended sentences.

Monday, 29th July 2019, 18:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 31st July 2019, 10:52 am
Lisa Hanson and Michael Hanson were sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court today (Monday, July 29)

The criminal conduct of Lisa Hanson, 51, and Michael Hanson, 61, both of Bennethorpe, Belle Vue, were uncovered after police raided their home just after 9.30am on June 17, 2015.

During a hearing held today, Sheffield Crown Court was told how police found quantities of cannabis in the couple’s bathroom and kitchen.

Laura Marshall, prosecuting, said: “Recovered from the bathroom inside a cabinet was black bag, which held a black bucket. There were 43 packages, 1.22kg total in weight. The average [package] weight was 28.3 grams. The value financially was estimated to be £12,200.”

“Recovered from the kitchen in total were 307.62 grams of skunk cannabis, around about 11 ounces, with a value of £3,076. They were found in seven different places within the kitchen. There was a total of 53 separate packages, weighing between 910 milligrams and 36.7 grams,” said Ms Marshall, adding that the Crown accepted Michael’s basis of plea, in which he stated that some of the cannabis found in the kitchen was for his personal use.

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Ms Marshall said police also found 2,800 in cash under the sofa in their living room, as well as a ‘dealer list with names and figures’ written on it and a set of weighing scales.

Both of the defendants mobile phones were seized and analysed, but were not found to have anything on them which indicated their phones had been used to facilitate dealing drugs.

In police interview, Michael said a male he would only name as Aaron had dropped the drugs off the day before, and was due to pick them up that morning but the police arrived before he had the chance to pick them up.

Following financial investigations into the bank accounts of both defendants, Lisa was found to have deposited an ‘unaccounted surplus’ of some £115,602 between 2011 and 2015.

Lisa told officers that all of the money in her account was there legitimately, and said Michael, who she had recently broken up with, had nothing to do with her bank accounts.

Ms Marshall said the case had taken so long to come to court due to the amount of time it took for the financial investigations into the defendants’ bank accounts to be carried.

Both defendants entered guilty pleas on the day of trial, Lisa to money laundering and Michael to an offence of possession with intent to supply Class B drugs.

Victoria Smith-Swain, defending Lisa, said: “Ms Hanson’s basis [of plea] indicates that she was influenced by others, and has not fully thought through the impact of the decisions she has made in this case, in her offending behaviour. She didn’t appreciate how serious her offending was and wishes, through me, to express her remorse to the court.”

Ms Smith-Swain added that Lisa has a number of dependants, namely two grandchildren and three children, two of whom still live at home with her, and is likely to lose her home following proceeds of crime hearings that are due to take place this year and next year.

Mohammed Qazi, representing Michael, said the 61-year-old was ‘not in good health’ due to suffering from Type 2 diabetes, and the after-effects of a heart attack he had in 2016.

Recorder Angela Frost sentenced Lisa to 20 months in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered her to complete 100 hours of unpaid work within the next 12 months.

She sentenced Michael to nine months in prison, suspended for 18 months.

Recorder Frost said: “What all this boils down to is a financial background of Lisa Hanson putting various money from various criminal gain into one bank account...and the property being used as a warehouse for storing drugs.”