A security guard who ran a drugs line selling crack cocaine and heroin after losing his income during the Covid pandemic has been ordered to pay a confiscation order of more than £7,000.

A hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act at Ipswich Crown Court on Tuesday heard that Rodney Addo’s benefit from his offending was more than £60,000.

However, the court was told the available amount was £7,470 and Judge Richard Kelly made a confiscation order in that sum.

At his sentencing hearing in 2022 the court heard that Addo had run the "Shanks" line and had sent thousands of marketing messages to drug users offering deals on crack cocaine and heroin in Colchester.

When a police officer was reviewing the phone of a class A drug user, he came across two incoming messages advertising drugs for sale.

The number was active from July 2020, and when phone records were analysed, it was revealed 7,295 messages had been sent over 11 months.

Police linked that number to Addo and CCTV footage showed him regularly topping up the phone at a shop near his home in London between August 2020 and July 2021, said Mr Cohen.

Addo's personal phone was also co-located with the drugs phone on a number of occasions, the court heard.

Police arrested Addo on September 14, 2021 and a search of his home was undertaken along with another address.

Officers seized cash, a Nokia phone and a small amount of cannabis.

Addo, 43, of Digby Road, London, pleaded guilty to two offences of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs and was jailed for six years in April 2022.

At his sentencing hearing, the court heard he had lost his source of income during the Covid pandemic and had got into debt.