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, was identified last year as the dealer who supplied killer Jamie Armstrong and his victim Luke Hollingsworth.
Armstrong, 23, stabbed his former pal Luke, who had worked as a chef at Wetherspoons in Lancaster, 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. At an earlier hearing, Judge Paul Batty QC told Worden: “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.”
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.
Worden, of Wellington Road, Lancaster, admitted bringing at least 10 kilogrammes of cannabis into the Carlisle area. 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.
Detective Sergeant Stephanie Siddle, from Cumbria Police’s Economic Crime Unit, said: “Worden has now been stripped of his assets, if he fails to pay he will be sent to jail.”