A STONEMASON jailed for six years and four months after using his business premises as a cover for drugs offences is to call up to 20 witnesses at a contested Proceeds of Crime Act hearing.

Ben Hodgkinson today appeared before Bradford Crown Court on a link to HMP Lindholme where he is imprisoned.

At the sentencing hearing in December last year, the court heard that M & G Stone Limited in Alkincote Street, Keighley, was raided by the police in November 2020 and cannabis plants with a potential £18,000 yield were discovered.

During the police investigation into activities at the yard, officers found various quantities of cocaine, cutting agents, bags, scales and a dealer list.

The seized cocaine was worth just over £650, but the court heard that there was evidence that large quantities of the drug were being supplied.

Hodgkinson, 31, of Moorgate Road, Barnoldswick, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine and production of cannabis.

Today, Paul Canfield, for the Crown, said the case was listed for mention ahead of a two-day contested Proceeds of Crime Act hearing beginning on March 27 with as many as 20 witnesses to be called.

Eleanor Mitten, Hodgkinson’s barrister, said some of the witnesses were customers of the business who would give evidence about the sums of money moving through it at the time.

Recorder Olivia Checa-Dover said Hodgkinson’s legal team needed to produce statements from witnesses by November 10 so the case could be properly managed.