'Mr Big' of armed Gypsy drugs ring Joe King loses house in confiscation hearing
by Dan Bloom
The "Mr Big" of an armed Gypsy drugs ring has lost £300,000
of his ill-gotten gains - including his house.
Joe King was jailed for 18 years for supplying heroin, ecstasy
and amphetamines from a traveller's site he ran in Hoath Wood, West
Now a court has confiscated his assets - including a home worth
£185,000 he owned in Sittingbourne.
The 50-year-old also lost Peugeot and Renault cars worth £6,000,
paving worth £13,000 and £38,000 cash siezed by police.
But when it came to his Compass caravan and his £60,000 mobile
home, complete with conservatory, King put up a fight.
His lawyers called witnesses to Canterbury Crown Court who
claimed the homes belonged to them, not King.
Helen Wood, whose son Jimmy is married to King's daughter,
produced a logbook for the caravan claiming King had agreed to
store it for her.
But Judge Adele Williams said: "I'm sure the two witnesses who
have been called have not told me the truth.
"The defendant, Joe King, is the owner of the two items in
Romany Gypsy King was jailed with three others last September
after the gang supplied drugs to three undercover police
Guns found at the home of
More than 100 officers raided King's site in 2010 and found
stashes of drugs, shotguns and ammunition, the jury heard.
Jurors took a lesson in the ancient dialect rokker, which had
its origins in Urdu in the 1500s, during the trial after video
footage showed King using it.
King, previously of Lavender Road, West Malling, will have
three-and-a-half years added to his sentence if he fails to pay
within six months.
The other three convicted have also lost £40,000 of property
between them - including street dealer Matthew Newin's £4,000 Rolex
Even though Newin, 27, had gained £65,000 from his crimes,
only find £4,000 of property they could prove was his, the court
King's brother Samuel, 49, was ordered to pay £8,000 while
"hired muscle" Craig Provan, 42, will have to pay £27,000.
The confiscations were made under the 2002 Proceeds of Crime
Act, designed to recover court costs and hit financial criminals
where it hurts.
Clockwise from top left:
Matthew Newin, Samuel King, Craig Provan and Joseph King were
jailed in 2011
Described as a "merchant of misery", Joe King was jailed
for 18 years after a jury convicted him of conspiracy to supply
heroin and ecstasy, possessing amphetamine with intent to supply,
possessing criminal property and three charges of possessing
firearms with intent to endanger life.
His brother Samuel, of Elm Grove, Sittingbourne, who admitted
two supply charges, was jailed for seven-and-a-half years.
Street dealer Matthew Newin, of Swanstree Avenue, Sittingbourne,
was jailed for eight years after admitting three conspiracy charges
and encouraging the supply of one kilo of cannabis.
The "hired muscle", ex-bouncer Craig Provan, of The Paddock,
Highsted Valley, Rodmersham, was jailed for six years. He had been
convicted of supplying class A drugs and admitted encouraging the
supply of cannabis.
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