Pensioner snubs court for crown green bowls
A 74-year-old pensioner preferred to play crown green bowls rather than attend a court hearing dealing with Â£100,000 cash seized from him by detectives, a court heard.
Joseph Barlow objected to a police application to detain the cash for a further six months.
His case was handled by his lawyer after Barlow said he could not attend proceedings at Blackpool Magistrates Court, because he would not leave his bowling team a man short in a vital match.
Lancashire Police failed in its application for a further six months detention of the £100,000 and a further £100,000 seized from Barlow’s son Terry Barlow.
Instead, a judge granted them 12 weeks and urged officers to speed up their investigation into whether the money was the proceeds of crime-alleged drug dealings.
Barlow senior, of Hornby Road, Blackpool, and his son Terry, of River Road, Thornton had the money taken under Proceeds of Crime legislation in March this year.
Substances claimed to be cocaine and cannabis were also seized by police as well as suspected drugs bulking powder.
Both men were arrested after officer’s stopped the car Terry Barlow was driving in Caunce Street.
Both are on bail but have not been charged, the court heard.
The father and son deny the money is the result of drug dealing and say it is profits from two stalls they run on Abingdon Street indoor market and an E-cigarette business.
Trevor Colebourne, who represented the pensioner’s interests in court, said: “The police have had this money for four months – now they want it for a further six months.
“The only link my client, who prefers not to be here today, is that he is the registered owner of the car which was stopped.
“He wants to be interviewed by police about this but every time he turns up at the police station he is merely bailed to another date.
“If the Lord Chief Justice wanted a task completing within three days I suspect it would be. This all needs to be speeded up.
“My client’s bank accounts have been looked at, enquiries have been made via the Department of Work and Pensions and I am told the £100,000 is fully accountable for by Mr Barlow senior.
“If the police are given a further six months they will take six months.”
Terry Barlow– who represented himself– said he did take cannabis to ease the pain from sciatica.
He told the court:” I suppose I am something of a cannabis connoisseur.
“But I can account for every penny of that money and how it has been made.”
Police financial investigator Alan Todd told the court that the cash had been found in three places and consisted of bundles of £1,000 made up of £20 notes.
He said that the notes were being forensically examined at a laboratory in Bristol to find out if they had drug residue on them.
He said that the Barlow’s also had £23,000 in several banks accounts.
District Judge Alan Jones granted the police a further 12 weeks to detain the cash, computer and mobile phones but stated: “This investigation needs to be hastened.
“In particular the forensic inquiries require accelerating.
“I cannot see a court looking kindly at a further police application.”