A PROLIFIC offender who got off lightly when magistrates and prosecutors both blundered has been told to pay back just a quarter of his ill-gotten gains.

Crooked Lee Goodchild plundered almost £50,000 from buyers on Amazon by selling them stolen goods.

But because the Crown Prosecution Service were too slow to appeal an incorrect decision by the justices, his sentence was only a quarter what it should have been. Now the 32-year-old has tried to avoid handing over most of what's left of his dishonesty by saying many of his possessions really belonged to his father.

Mr Alan Hunt said he was surprised to hear in the year up to January 2012 £90,000 had gone through his son's bank account as he thought he was struggling on benefits.

After hearing the evidence Judge Tim Mousley QC ruled against Goodchild and told him he had four months to hand over £13,220. If he fails to settle the debt he will have to serve a six month jail term and still owe the money.

Goodchild was jailed for six months in December after admitting the money laundering offence of converting criminal property. He would have got two years had the magistrates not ruled their sentencing powers were adequate, and prosecutors had been quicker to appeal.