This mum is on the run from police and will have to pay thousands - if she is ever caught

Lynne Leyson
-Credit: (Image: Dyfed-Powys Police)

An on-the-run mother who was the head of crime gang has been ordered to pay back more than £26,000 of her ill-gotten gains - when or if she is ever caught. The whereabouts of Lynne Leyson, who goes by a number of aliases including Annelyn Caldicot, remains unknown after she skipped bail and disappeared.

Lynne Leyson, her husband Stephen and their son Samson were running a major drug dealing operation from a compound in rural Carmarthen that was supplying significant quantities of cocaine and cannabis across Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Swansea. They were convicted at trial last spring but Lynne Leyson skipped bail before she could be sentenced and went to ground.

Stephen Leyson was subsequently sentenced to 11 years in prison, Samson Leyson to six years, and Lynne Leyson to nine years after a judge decided to sentence her in her absence. Despite efforts by police over the last 12 months to track down the missing defendant she remains at large. Proceeds of crime orders have now been made in respect of the three Leysons to recover the money they made from their dealing. For the latest court reports, sign up to our crime newsletter here

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Ieuan Rees, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court both Stephen and Lynne Leyson benefited from their criminal lifestyle to the tune of £77,967 and that investigators have identified available assets in respect of Stephen in the sum of £33,147 and in respect of Lynne in the sum of £26,442. Samson Leyson benefited from his involvement to the tune of £69,795 and investigators have identified assets - including a TAG Heuer Formula 1 watch - worth £9,550. Judge Catherine Richards made confiscation orders in the available sums for the three Leysons, and gave them three months to pay or face additional jail time. The judge said she was "quite sure" Lynne Leyson would be arrested and brought before a court "at some point".

The Leysons were arrested when police raided the family's compound, Pibwr Farm in Capel Dewi near Carmarthen, in the early hours of October 27, 2021. A search of the smallholding and its various buildings, sheds, storage units and caravans uncovered half a kilo of cocaine with a street value of up to £60,200 and 1.4kg of cannabis with a street value of approximately £15,600, along with more than £17,000 in cash. Police also found a semi-automatic pistol - an Italian model Kimar 85 Auto 9mm self-loading weapon - which belonged to Stephen Leyson. The pistol is thought to be the first handgun of its kind located and seized in the Dyfed-Powys Police area. The police investigation - codenamed Operation Hilston - then led officers to two dealers living in Pembrokeshire who had been selling drugs for the family, including one who goes by the nickname Mr Pickles. Elsewhere, you can read about a Hampshire family who moved to Carmarthenshire to set up a multi-million pound cannabis production and supply operation here

Police custody photographs of (left to right) Sampson, Lynne, and Stephen Leyson
The Leyson organised crime group (left to right) Sampson, Lynne, and Stephen Leyson -Credit:Dyfed-Powys Police
Drug dealer Stephen Leyson's semi-automatic pistol recovered during Operation Hilston
Drug dealer Stephen Leyson's semi-automatic pistol recovered during Operation Hilston -Credit:Dyfed-Powys Police
Some of the cannabis recovered from the Carmarthenshire smallholding of the Leyson drug dealing family
Some of the cannabis recovered from the Carmarthenshire smallholding of the Leyson drug dealing family -Credit:Dyfed-Powys Police

Following a two-week trial at Swansea Crown Court in May last year Stephen Paul Leyson, 55, Lynne Leyson, 51, and their 22-year-old Samson Leyson were convicted of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and conspiracy to supply Class B drugs. Stephen Leyson - who has "repeated offences before various courts over the years" including for inflicting grievous bodily harm - was also convicted of possession of a firearm. In July Stephen Leyson was sentenced to 11 years in prison and Samson Leyson to six years.

Sending the male defendants down, Judge Catherine Richards said the Leysons had been running a significant drug dealing operation in west Wales, and while she accepted the son had been brought into his parents' criminal lifestyle she said he had done so "willingly" and had benefited from it. The judge also said she "entirely rejected" Stephen Leyson's assertion that he had found the gun and was planning to hand it in to the police, saying she believed the purpose of having the weapon was to - at the very least - intimidate people.

In September 2023 Lynne Leyson was sentenced in her absence to nine years in prison after Judge Richards said she was satisfied the defendant was deliberately trying to evade justice by not attending court. Passing sentence, the judge described Lynne Leyson as the "dominant force" in the drugs conspiracy. She was subsequently placed on the most wanted list of the Crimestoppers charity. She remains at large.

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