One of the suspects in the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence has complained he cannot be moved to an open prison after failing to pay £90,000 he made from a £3 million drugs plot.
Only two of the suspects, Gary Dobson and David Norris, have been brought to justice and were both handed life sentences in 2012 after being found guilty of murder at the Old Bailey.
Acourt was last January ordered to pay back £90,000 in ill-gotten gains or face another year added to his jail sentence by a judge at Kingston Crown Court.
He appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday by video-link from Brixton prison over his failure to pay the confiscation order, which has risen to more than £95,000 with interest of £19.73 a day.
The court heard Acourt is due to be released on November 3 but he asked for his default sentence to be activated, meaning he would spend another six months behind bars.
“I’m happy to take the default sentence because I have no way of paying the money,” he said.
“In January this was given to me.
“I can’t move to an open prison or anything because of this.”
But District Judge Daniel Sternberg said he would not activate the sentence while Acourt was in prison and explained he had no say in the jail where he is held.
He added: “Even if you serve the default sentence that does not wipe out the debt you have to pay.
“But it is one of the tools the court has to put some pressure on you to pay.”
The judge said the case will be relisted ahead of Acourt’s release date, in October.
His brother Neil Acourt, who was also arrested over Mr Lawrence’s murder, was jailed for more than six years over the drugs plot which saw some 750kg of cannabis resin, with an estimated street value of around £3 million moved between London and South Shields, Tyne and Wear.
The fifth suspect, Luke Knight, has remained free.