Payback time: Former Leeds crime boss Dennis Slade has more than £250,000 confiscated

A former Leeds crime boss has had more than a quarter of a million pounds confiscated - almost a decade after he was convicted of a series of daring robberies.

Dennis Slade has been ordered to pay back the profits of his audacious crimes which were committed over a three-year period across the north of England.
One offence included the robbery of a Securitas van which netted Slade's gang over £1m.

Dennis Slade.

Dennis Slade.

Slade was released from custody earlier this year, nine years after being given a life sentence over the robberies and his involvement in a murder plot.

The murder conspiracy convictions were quashed in 2015 after the Court of Appeal ruled them to be unsafe and ordered a re-trial.

The re-trial collapsed when prosecutors took the decision to offer no evidence against Slade and two other men midway through the hearing.

The decision meant the minimum prison term Slade had to serve was dropped to ten years.

Maxine Valentine.

Maxine Valentine.

Slade's confiscation hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act has finally been settled after years of delays.

Leeds Crown Court heard Slade benefitted to the sum of £267,836 as a result of his offending.

The court heard 43-year-old Slade has assets available to re-pay the sum in full.

Judge Tom Bayliss QC ordered that Slade pay the amount within 28 days or face a custodial sentence of up to two years.

The judge described the confiscation order as "rather academic" as the sum has already been paid.

Slade's two "loyal henchmen" - Richard Pearman and Michael Baxter - also had their cases dealt with at the same time.

All three men - once described as “Premier League” criminals - were found guilty following high-profile trials in 2009 and 2010.

Pearman and Baxter have also been released from custody following the quashing of the murder conspiracy conviction.

The court heard both men benefited by £33,750.

Baxter's available assets were said to be £2,820, which the judge ordered him to pay.

Pearman was said to have no assets available and was ordered to pay the nominal sum of £1.

A confiscation order was also made in relation to Slade's former partner, Maxine Valentine.

Valentine was jailed for 12 months in 2011 after admitting to living off the proceeds of Slade's criminal conduct.
A court Valentine “flaunted” her wealth on social websites, enjoying expensive holidays abroad and shopping in designer stores.

She owned a £3,250 mobile phone and was given a pop star’s Bentley Continental for one birthday, which later had her own number plate – 30 MV.

Slade and Valentine also lived in a £1m house in an exclusive area of north Leeds.

Valentine was sentenced at Teesside Crown Court after pleading guilty to acquiring, using or possessing property, the proceeds of criminal conduct, between April 28 2005 and March 5 2008.

Prosecutors said Valentine knew her extravagant lifestyle was funded “not through legitimately earned income but through the criminal activities of her husband.”

It was clear he did not “go out to work in the conventional sense”.

For a time they lived in Spain, but returned in early 2005, initially renting a substantial house in Harrogate for between £1,650 and £2,200 a month.

In September 2006 they moved to a property in Sandmoor Drive, Alwoodley, in Leeds.

The court heard the luxurious house valued that December at £1m “was registered in the name of an associate of Dennis Slade but in truth belonged to Dennis Slade himself”,

On April 27, 2007, police first saw the £74,500 Bentley, which had previously belonged to Jamiroquai singer Jay Kay, on the driveway. The couple also had a £53,000 Porsche.

Their holidays and other extravagances over three years cost around £360,000 “but that probably only represents a small portion of the sum spent” to fund their lifestyle, said prosecutor Paul Greaney.

Valentine's benefit figure was put at £5,987 which she was ordered to pay in full within 28 days.

None of the defendants were present in court for the brief Proceeds of Crime Act hearing but were represented by barristers.

The Parole Board took the decision to release Slade from custody in March this year after hearing evidence that he was "motivated to live an offence-free life."
Baxter was released from custody in 2016 and Pearman was released in 2017.