THE heroin-smuggling dad of a former rugby star has avoided a return to prison after paying back his ill-gotten gains.
But there is still a possibility of his wife’s going back behind bars.
In 2012 Paul and Susan Gleeson, the parents of ex-Warriors and Hull KR star Sean who was recently forced to retire from rugby because of an horrific eye injury sustained in a street attack, were jailed for their part in a £1.5m drug and money laundering racket.
Paul Gleeson, 54, pleaded guilty to importation charges and was sentenced to seven years, while his 52-year-old wife got a 15-month jail sentence after being convicted of money laundering.
Their convictions followed the seizure of around 20kg of heroin by Border Force officers at Dover in September 2011. The drugs were concealed in a specially adapted compartment in an MG sports car.
The car’s driver, Jeffrey Green, 55, of Newark Street, Wigan, was hit with a seven-year prison term. He was later given an additional 21 months after missing a deadline to hand over criminal profits of £90,000. The National Crime Agency conducted a financial investigation into the Gleesons, of St Matthew’s Close, Highfield, and at a hearing at Canterbury Crown Court the couple were ordered to pay back a combined £163,000 that they have made from their criminality. If they failed to do so within six months they would each serve a two-year default sentence and still have to pay up.
Retrieving the cash was left to the confiscation unit attached to Dover Magistrates’ Court and this week it confirmed that Paul Gleeson had paid his confiscation order in full.
Susan Gleeson, however, had been granted an extension to July 28 before which she must settle up, otherwise the re-imprisonment sanction could be enforced.
Malcolm Bragg, from the National Crime Agency’s Border Policing Command, said: “The Gleesons lived a lavish lifestyle which appears to have been almost totally funded by criminality. Through this confiscation we have been able to deprive them of a significant amount of cash.
“Money is at the heart of all organised crime and is the motivation for most criminals, so we are determined to make sure they can’t enjoy their profits and the lifestyle that may bring.”