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Escaped Dover prisoner on run in Europe for 20 years set up steroid empire to pay for arthritis treatment jailed again


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An escaped prisoner on the run for 20 years is back behind bars after re-inventing himself as a drug-dealing kingpin to pay for his arthritis treatment.

Barry Doughty, from Dover, bent an iron bar in his prison cell at HMP Littlehey before scaling the perimeter fence in November 1999.

Barry Doughty, from Dover, bent an iron bar in his prison cell at HMP Littlehey before scaling the perimeter fence in November 1999
Barry Doughty, from Dover, bent an iron bar in his prison cell at HMP Littlehey before scaling the perimeter fence in November 1999

The 57-year-old absconded to Europe and remained undetected, working in various jobs under the alias Gary Monk.

But after returning to Dover he was arrested in 2019 having helped set up a £900,000 anabolic steroid empire, which shipped as far as America.

Doughty was jailed for six years at Canterbury Crown Court today after previously admitting escaping prison and being concerned in the supply of Class C drugs.

George Higgins, 33, from Dover, was jailed for three years after admitting the same drugs offence, money laundering and a bail offence.

Samuel Winwright, 33, also from the same town, was given 18 months suspended for two years after admitting being concerned in the supply of Class C drugs.

He was also handed 200 hours of unpaid work as part of a 12 month community order.

Neither co-defendant was involved in Doughty’s prison escape.

Doughty was held in Huntingdon’s Category C jail for seven months after being handed a nine year sentence for selling a Class B drug when he escaped, prosecutors explained.

“The windows on the cells (in G Wing) don’t normally have standard security bars, they have one bar.

“During the night he bent the bar of the window and climbed the perimeter fence,” Jeremy Rosenberg, prosecuting, explained.

“With the aid of unknown individuals he climbed down a ladder that had been placed on the other side of the fence and he wasn’t found until he was arrested in Dover in 2019.”

Vials of steroids found in the drugs factory
Vials of steroids found in the drugs factory

Doughty escaped prison “out of stupidity” after his family came under threat from dangerous individuals, his barrister said.

“He tells me he regretted his decision almost immediately but felt unable to hand himself into the authorities,” Daniel Cohen, mitigating, said.

Working in a string of legitimate jobs throughout Europe, Doughty had not been in trouble with the law since his disappearance, Mr Cohen said.

“It was only the steroids matter which unravelled that lifestyle that he had developed.

“But he was able to obtain work in various countries with a legitimate lifestyle on the run,” he said.

Unable to use the NHS under his false moniker, Doughty began selling steroids to help pay £14,000 to £15,000 medical bills a year to help “keep arthritis under control,” Mr Cohen said.

“He accepts he was shocked by the success of the operation and part of his impetus to continue it was due to its success,” Mr Cohen added.

Prosecutors said Doughty ran the online drugs business from his home in Maison Dieu Road.

The property was searched and a large amount of materials were found which had been used in the production of the steroids testosterone, trenbolone, boldenone, drostanolone and mesthasterone.

Documents showed steroids had been sent to addresses in the UK, USA and Ireland.

The drugs factory was found in a Dover home
The drugs factory was found in a Dover home

When police raided his and another property on the street they discovered 300 vials of steroids, a Rolex watch and £10,000 cash.

A significant amount of other drugs paraphernalia, alongside evidence of packages sent as far as Ireland and America, were also unearthed.

Evidence seized on a computer showed an £80,000 revenue stream connected to a website from where the contraband was sold.

A judge said the goods seized were “almost half a million” pounds, with more than £400,000 worth of cash laundered.

Judge Simon James said Doughty was “the architect” of the operation, with Higgins acting as “lieutenant.”

He ruled Doughty must serve his six-year sentence after the nine-year term he is currently serving.

Higgins, of Worthington Street, was of previous good character and regretted his actions, his lawyer explained.

Emin Kandola, mitigating, read a statement on his behalf: “I feel remorseful, I feel regret, if I knew then what I know now, I would have never gotten into it.”

Phil Rowley, mitigating for Winwright, highlighted his previously clean criminal record adding: “This conduct might be seen as out of character for him.”

He added Winwright, of Colorado Close, has since settled with a family and works with people with complex needs.

Money seized from the steroid factory
Money seized from the steroid factory

Sentencing, judge Simon James, said: "Each of you were part of a commercial enterprise supplying illegal Class C drugs, which was operational for almost 2 years.

"The enterprise involved the product being branded produced by 'Genesis Underground Labs', advertised via a website and supplied not only throughout the UK but as far afield as the USA, with payments being made to a variety of different bank accounts specifically set up to launder the proceeds."

He told Doughty: "You were the architect and organiser, responsible for set up and the recruitment of the others, who were all effectively working for you.

"The money trail demonstrates clearly that it was you who was the recipient of the lion’s share of the substantial profits which were generated.

"Your position is, however, considerably aggravated by the fact that you have previously been sentenced to nine years imprisonment for the supply of cannabis, a sentence which is indicative of you previously playing a leading role in an organised commercial enterprise.

"In addition these offences were all committed while you were unlawfully at large."

Detective Sergeant Sam Minichiello, Kent Police's investigating officer, said: "Doughty showed a complete disregard for the justice system by escaping from prison and committing these offences while illegally at large.

"The kind of drugs he and his associates were producing are illegal for a reason: Because they are dangerous. By producing them at an unsuitable location and sending them off around the world he was putting others at danger.

"I am pleased our investigation has seen him arrested, charged with these offences and sent back to prison."

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