A COUPLE who lived lavish lifestyles while running a multi-million pound racket to import and supply anabolic steroids have been stripped of assets worth more than £1.3million under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Patrick Hyland and his estranged wife Hyacinth were both jailed at Chelmsford Crown Court in December 2010 for their part in the conspiracy.

During the trial Patrick Hyland was described as the chief executive of the smuggling operation, while his wife was involved in the organisation when he was abroad sourcing and buying anabolic steroids.

Patrick Hyland was sentenced to 54 months and Hyacinth Hyland, of Little Waltham, near Chelmsford, was handed a two year sentence.

A Proceeds of Crime Confiscation hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court last week heard Patrick Hyland, 49, of Great Saling, near Braintree, had accrued a criminal benefit of £5,142,110.

The court made a confiscation order of £596,047 based on his available assets. Hylands was told the order should be paid within six months or he would face a further four years in jail.

Hyacinth Hyland, 56, had built up a criminal benefit of £4,359,306 and was told to pay £732,939, based on her available assets.

She was ordered to pay this within 12 months or face four years in jail.

The court also made confiscation orders against two other men who were jailed for their parts in the conspiracy.

Colin Lathbury, 56, from the Isle of Man, who was jailed for 30 months, was found to have a criminal benefit of £608,656 and ordered to pay £412,676 within six months or face a further three years and six months in jail.

Sanjay Mistry, 43, from Watford, who was given a suspended sentence for his part in the conspiracy, was found to have a criminal benefit of £1,401,673 and ordered to pay £100,000 within six months or face two years in prison.

Det Chief Insp Keith Davies, head of the Kent and Essex Police serious economic crime unit, said: “The compelling evidence gathered by investigators and presented to the Crown Court has allowed the judge to arrive at very high criminal benefit figures for all four defendants and this has been reflected in the value of the confiscation orders made against them.

“The defendants will have to make considerable payments in line with the confiscation orders and if not they face additional time in custody, this clearly highlights to those involved criminality that crime really does not pay and we will continue to use this dynamic legislation to hammer home that principle.”