Champion bodybuilder steroid dealer stripped of £25,000 profits
A body builder has been ordered to repay the £25,000 profit he made from selling illegal steroids to other gym users.
Paul Bennellick consented to the order under the Proceeds of Crime Act in a brief hearing at Exeter Crown Court.
The 38-year-old from Crediton had previously opposed attempts to strip him of assets and maintained he had not made large profits from the illegal trade in steroids.
Benellick is a champion body builder who used the drugs to boost his own performance but went on to sell them to fellow enthusiasts.
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Bennellick was found with £3,300 cash and £6,162 worth of steroids when police closed down his operation last year and a financial investigation later showed he had a £17,000 deposit account.
Recorder Mr Harry Martineau certified that Bennellick had lived a criminal lifestyle, and benefitted from his illegal dealing to the extent of £25,000.
He ordered the cash to be repaid within six months or for the defendant to risk serving a short term in jail.
Bennellick, of The Willows, Cheriton Fitzpaine, near Crediton, admitted seven counts of possessing anabolic steroids and one of being concerned in the supply of the Class C drugs.
He was jailed for eight months, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 160 hours unpaid community work at Exeter Crown Court in January.
In that case Judge Francis Gilbert, QC, told Bennellick:”You have no previous convictions but have admitted dealing in anabolic steroids for profit. Items were seized with a value of £6,162 when police raided your property and you admit you would have sold 30 per cent of it.
“You say the rest would have been consumed by yourself for your own body building but you paid £17,000 into a savings account in the previous year, which may be an indication of what was going on.”
Mr Jonathan Barnes, prosecuting, said police found large consignments of steroids when they raided a house at Westminster Road, Exeter, where Bennellick was living at the time.
He said:”Officers also found a price list and £3,300 in cash and while they were there four more packages arrived which contained further substances. The total value of the drugs was £6,162.
“Also seized were a number of mobile phones which contained text messages relating to dealing and past dealing which suggested he was using a number of sub dealers.
“A financial investigation showed he had paid £17,000 into a saving account in the year before November 2011.
“He told police in interview he was a competitive body builder and the substances were for his own use.
“I questioned his own use on an earlier occasion but have now been shown photographs of him in competition by the defence and accept he could be a rival to Silvester Stallone.”
Mr Ben Darby, defending, consented to the order but told an earlier hearing Bennellick had made most of his money from legitimate dealing in legal dietary supplements.