A crime proceeds settlement against a man serving a five-year prison sentence for firearms offences has been “tweaked” due to the lowering in value of a seized Rolex watch.

Paul Tomlinson, now 49, received the sentence, the mandatory minimum for possessing a prohibited firearm, at Durham Crown Court, in October last year.

It followed his guilty pleas to seven counts of possessing a firearm, ammunition or sound moderator, when prohibited, plus two counts each of possessing a prohibited firearm and possessing a firearm without certificate.

He also admitted possessing a class B drug, 403g of cannabis, said to be valued at £3,920, with intent to supply, but on the basis that it was only to a family member.

Read more: Bishop Auckland man jailed after cops find air rifles and silencers

The charges arose from a police visit to his home, The Fallows, in Cockfield, near Bishop Auckland, in July last year, when three air rifles, one loaded with air pellets, and all with detachable silencers, were recovered by officers, along with the cannabis.

Tomlinson claimed he used the weapons for vermin control on his land and not for criminal purposes.

But the court heard he was subject of a lifelong prohibition from possessing a firearm after he was jailed for six years for being concerned in the supply of heroin, at Teesside Crown Court, in January 2001.

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His 16 past convictions for 42 offences were said to include eight for drug-related matters.

Following crime proceeds inquiries a settlement figure was reached at a recent hearing at the court, which agreed that Tomlinson benefited from his crimes by £85,944, but his assets available for confiscation amounted to £30,650, with Tomlinson given three months to pay or risk a further 18 months in prison, in default.

The case came back before the court yesterday (Wednesday September 20), with the defendant observing via video link from Holme House Prison, Stockton, where he is serving his sentence.

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Paul Rooney, for the Crown, said it was for a slight amendment to the agreed assets figure relating to the valuation of the Rolex watch seized from Tomlinson by police upon arrest.

The watch, previously considered to be worth £6,950, has subsequently been re-valued at £4,650, reducing the assets figure to £28,375.

Judge James Adkin agreed to make the variation to the order.