Tens of thousands of pounds in illegally gained assets is being stripped from a convicted criminal in Denholme.

David Alan Romani, of Dean Brow Farm, was ordered to pay £173,213 during a confiscation hearing at Leeds Crown Court on Monday.

He must provide the money in the next six months or faces another two and a half years in prison.

Romani is currently serving a 10 year sentence for his part in a criminal drugs operation which saw him convicted of conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine.

Financial investigation manager David Charity, of the Economic Crime Unit, said: "The assets which the judge ordered Romani to pay include the equity of his home at Dean Brown Farm in Denholme, a personalised number plate and an Audi A4.

"Taking away a criminals ill gotten gains sends a clear message that crime does not pay, and demonstrates to the public that procedures are in place to prevent criminals benefiting as a result of their criminal activity.

"This is another result which again shows that West Yorkshire Police are committed to dealing with serious criminality in order to make communities safer.

“Asset recovery investigations like this can sometimes have an even greater impact than a prison sentence.

“We would therefore encourage anyone who thinks they may know someone living beyond their means to contact us through the ‘Why Should They?’ campaign anonymously on 0800 555111."

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson, said: "Cases like these highlight the considerable amounts we can potentially recover from criminal enterprises and which could be used to the benefit of local people and police.

"I’ve recently launched the Safer Communities Fund which allows local groups and organisations to submit bids of up to £10,000 from Proceeds of Crime assets.

"Currently half of the money seized in West Yorkshire goes back to the Government, and I’m personally campaigning for all that cash to remain here.

"Earlier this week, I met the Policing Minister who pledged to introduce legislation to address the loopholes in the next Parliament.”

He added people who would like to see this cash returned to the county can go to http://action.westyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk/page/s/giveusbackallthemoney to sign his petition.