Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Accountant's £10K Rolex Ruse Against Hollywood Producers

An accountant with a Camden-based movie production company, involved in a string of Hollywood hits, used their money to order a £10,000 Rolex during a bitter bonus dispute.

Nicola Hodson, 42, was even offered £20,000 the day before by The Fyzz Facility, but still proceeded to order the watch using the company’s credit card.

The company also has a Los Angeles office and has invested over £200m in more than 200 feature films over the last seven years.

These include Wind River, starring Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen; Martin Scorsese’s Silence, starring Liam Neeson; Shock and Awe directed by Rob Reiner and starring Woody Harrelson and The foreigner, starring Pierce Brosnan and Jackie Chan.

Hodson, of Victoria Barracks, Sheet Street, Windsor pleaded guilty to one count of fraud by dishonest abuse of position on January 29, last year, namely attempted to gain the £10,714.90 Rolex. 

Blackfriars Crown Court heard she cancelled the transaction and never received the watch, but was dismissed when the company discovered the fraud.

Today (Tuesday) Hodson was sentenced to nine months imprisonment, suspended for twelve months and ordered to complete 40 hours community service and pay £500 costs.

“It beggars belief that you were so stupid to use their card to buy a ten thousand pound Rolex watch the day after they offered you a twenty thousand pound severance,”  Recorder Dafydd Enoch QC told her.

Hodson had always fought the case and eventually admitted her responsibility on the day of her trial.

“At the eleventh hour you pleaded guilty to the charge of fraud. There was obviously history to it that maybe made you think you were entitled to a certain amount of money from the company.

“What you did do was cross the line from honest negotiation to dishonest appropriation and you have admitted fraud on this company.

“Normally when someone steals from the company they work for that person goes to prison, but this was a misguided attempt to sort out negotiations not going your way.

“You cancelled the transaction as soon as you set it up. You realised soon after that you did wrong.

“You knew full well that you were acting dishonestly.”

Monday, 27 November 2017

Off-Duty BA Employee Sentenced For Molesting Snoozing Passenger On Flight To Bangkok

Don't Speak
A drunken off-duty British Airways cabin crew manager, who twice groped a snoozing male business-class passenger between the legs on a long-haul flight to Bangkok, has been placed on probation.

Paul Speak, 47, “clocked” the young man, who was travelling alone, and pounced as he dozed in the darkened cabin while wearing an eye mask.

The second time he was fondled the victim grabbed Speak’s hand and shouted: “What the f*** are you doing? Stay away.”

Speak, of Hawkes close, Langley, Slough was found guilty by an Isleworth Crown Court jury of one count of sexual assault on October 12, last year.

He received a twelve-month community order, which includes 160 hours community service work, and must pay £400 costs.

Speak must also sign the sex offenders register for five years.

Recorder Bruce Houlder QC told Speak: “Whilst the internal aircraft light was dimmed and while you thought the complainant was asleep you twice moved your hand up his leg and touched his penis over clothing.

“The touching appears to be brief and the second time the passenger complained to the crew and you remained in  a seat reserved for crew for the remainder of the flight.

“Fortunately for you it was reported to the UK police rather than the police in Thailand.

“You were a manger with British Airways, you must have been aware of the gravity of the offence you were committing and the staff knew who you were.

“You did falsely suggest the complainant was mistaken in that you touched him and you have not expressed remorse of any kind.”

Speak is now unemployed after BA sacked him after an internal disciplinary hearing before the trial. 

The victim told the jury he caught Speak looking at him soon after boarding. “It was a stare straight to me and a smile.”

He recalled the touches as he dozed in his seat. “The first time was the feeling of a light breeze on my thigh.

“I felt it again and saw the same guy walking back to his seat. “It was a light touch on my thigh, the inner thigh.

“Something happened again and I caught the hand. It was in the crotch area.”

The passenger says his penis was touched above his clothing.

“He mumbled and stumbled. I saw embarrassment on his face, shocked that he had been caught.

“I think that he might have been drunk.”

Prosecutor Miss Kathy Hirst told the jury: “The complainant, who was travelling alone, noticed another gentleman in a distinctive pink shirt walked down the aisle and ‘clocked’ him.

“There was eye-contact and he held his gaze.”

She said the the first incident occurred four hours after taking off from Heathrow, with Speak, a BA cabin crew employee, using his staff points to fly.

“On two occasions the complainant says he was touched above clothing on his penis.

“He was woken by someone running his hand over his thigh area, near his crotch.

“He raised his eye mask and saw the man in the pink shirt retreating.

“It happened again forty minutes later. The hand went up towards his waistband and it seemed to be prolonged.

“He saw the same man in the pink shirt walking up the aisle.”

The passenger reported Speak to the cabin crew and a member of staff spoke to the defendant.

“It was obvious to her he was drunk and she told him a complaint had been made.

“His eyes rolled and he fainted and fell to the floor.”

Speak, who denied touching the passenger, was questioned by police on his return to the UK.

“He disputed he assaulted the complainant and accepted he was wearing a pink shirt.

“He said he forgot to take his medication for high blood pressure and had a few drinks before take-off and took a sleeping pill.”

Today his lawyer Mr. Jake Taylor told the court: “He had a long and distinguished career at BA and finds himself in a large amount of debt.

“Having lost his job he will lose his property and is relocating to live with his parents.

“After a period of reflection he will be a benefit to society one more.”

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Foreign Exchange Dealer Jailed For Defrauding Investors Of £400K

Palacios-Serna Was Jailed At Blackfriars Crown Court

A foreign exchange dealer, who defrauded investors as his business struggled, is starting a four-year prison sentence.

Andres Palacios-Serna, 37, of Mayton Street, Holloway was responsible for customers suffering losses of £400,000, including an elderly couple's entire life savings.

He initially fought the case, but eventually pleaded guilty on the day of his trial to three offences committed between 2011 and 2014.

Blackfriars Crown Court heard he took money from the victims, promising to return it soon and the sentencing judge told Palacios-Serna: “It was fraudulent and dishonest. The money was rapidly dispersed elsewhere.

You were dishonest. You did not invest it at all. Substantial sums of money were used to pay existing creditors.

You took money to keep a misguided business afloat and pay creditors. You abused a position of trust and all the counts concern individuals that trusted you with their money.

The savings of a retired couple were used. The loss of such substantial amounts for the elderly couple is grievous for them.”

Palacios-Serna was also disqualified from being a Company Director for eight years.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Somalian Refugee Jailed For "Animalistic" Rape Of Young Student

A Somalian refugee, who ended up working at Heathrow Airport’s Cafe Nero, has been jailed for nine years for his “animalistic” rape bid of a drunken student, who had passed-out on his bed.

Mogadishu-born Abdourahman Amadeo, 24, and his family reached Italy and once that country gave him citizenship he moved to the UK under freedom of  movement rules.

After the late-night attack on the 22 year-old he shouted: “Get this ho out of my bed.”

He was unanimously convicted by an Isleworth Crown Court jury of the attempted rape of the young woman at his home in Connaught Avenue, Hounslow on December 13, 2015.

The victim and a female friend had partied at the nearby Club K and believed they were getting a lift home from one of Amadeo’s pal’s when they were taken to the address at 4.30am.

“You tried to rape a woman you barely knew. She was inert, there was no speech or movement,” Recorder Sallie Bennett-Jenkins QC told the first-time offender.

“The fact you sought to have sex with her beggars belief and can only be described as animalistic.

“Your thoughts are obvious through your words of: ‘Get this ho’ slang for whore, ‘Out of my bed.

“You took your own selfish and animalistic sexual satisfaction from her.”

The prosecution relied largely on the victim’s friend’s evidence even though she had been removed from the bedroom on Amadeo’s orders.

“There was a specific targeting here of a vulnerable victim. She was obviously under the influence of alcohol to a great extent.

“She could not walk and her incapacitation due to alcohol makes her a person of particular vulnerability,” added Recorder Bennett-Jenkins.

“It was an attempted rape committed in the most callous of circumstances.

“She was enjoying an evening out with friends. She did consume alcohol and there is no criticism of her in this respect.

“We have CCTV footage and at 4.30am we can see she was extremely vulnerable, she was falling over, she could barely stand and fell, cutting her legs, on the way to your home.

“In your room she either fell asleep or passed into unconsciousness and is spared the recollection of what you did to her, without her consent, yet this is the thing that haunts her.

“A second man took her friend out of the bedroom after you spoke to him in a foreign language and whatever was said you were left in the room with this sleeping woman.

“You took that chance to prey upon this young woman who was obviously unable to give consent to any sexual conduct.

“You should be thoroughly utterly disgusted with your conduct. You tried to rape a woman you barely knew.”

The victim reported the attack to police and took anti-HIV drugs. “She was and is tortured by what happened to her.

“When you were arrested you denied knowing her and said her friend was lying.”

Amedeo was also ordered to sign the sex offenders register for life.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Selfridges Beauty Salon Wrecked By Crooked Book Keeper During £116K Fraud

Dishonest: Gittens
A “devious and calculating” bookkeeper, who wrecked the Selfridges business of a beauty entrepreneur during a £116,000 fraud, has been jailed.

Thelma Gittens, 54, forged invoices and accounts and even tried to buy the failing company in a cut-price deal from creditors with the money she swindled. 

As luxury beauty salon Groom London Ltd. - which charged customers up to £175 an hour - floundered she financed a “lavish” party in her native Manila, which was posted on youtube.

Gittens, of Montgomery House, Harrow Road, Paddington received three years and eight months imprisonment at Blackfriars Crown Court.

She pleaded guilty to one count of fraud by abuse of position between January 1, 2013 and February 28, this year.

Her former boss, Susan Baddeley, 47, broke down in tears as she told the court how Gittens’ dishonesty was responsible for the collapse of her business and 15 employees losing their jobs.

“My trust was shattered by Thelma Gittens’s awful betrayal,” she said, describing the demise of the company she ran for fourteen years as “incredibly painful” and “horrific.”

"Trust Was Shattered": Baddeley
She hired Gittens as a self-employed bookkeeper in 2008. “I trusted her just like everyone else in my team.”

The company relied on a bank overdraft to survive and Ms Baddeley was forced to borrow £10,000 from her parents to keep Groom afloat.

Gittens knew about the family loan, but still took money from the company’s account the following day.

It was revealed during liquidation proceedings Gittens had transferred £60,715 into her account, plus another £55,757 to her brother’s account.

“I could not understand why the business got into such a bad financial state,” added Ms Baddeley. “I was shocked and numbed by the discovery Thelma Gittens was double invoicing her pay and paying someone else.

“She had been falsifying invoices and accounts and took advantage even though she knew the company was struggling financially.

“It was calculated and self-motivated and showed a complete disregard for me and the staff. 

“She even tried to buy the company for a nominal fee to cover-up what she had done in a hard-hearted and cynical way.”

Gittens, who claims she took the money to pay her mother’s medical bills in the Philippines, desperately tried to cover her tracks.

“She deleted files on two separate occasions and a total of twenty-five thousand payroll files were deleted,” said prosecutor Mr. Obi Mgbokwere.

“Once she realised the net was really closing in she said she was sorry and sent a letter to Ms Baddeley, but this was just a cut-and-paste letter she found on google.”

Ms Baddeley described the cut-and-paste ‘apology’ letter in which Gittens expressed her Christian values as “abhorrent.”

Judge Rajeev Shetty told Gittens, who remained in the court’s cells: “You deleted voluminous quantities of bank account statements to cover up your actions even though the game was up.

“Fifteen employees lost their jobs because this company folded. Their lives have been effected by your fraud.

“You also knew Ms Baddeley was going through a separation and divorce, yet you chose to defraud her.

“The real human tragedy is seeing the company fold and employees lose their jobs. Ms Baddeley described them as like family.

“A youtube video reveals you spent money on a lavish hotel party in Manila. You were there spending a fairly significant amount on this celebration.

“That video provides a snapshot of your lifestyle and was sent anonymously to the court.

“There is a fairly devious and calculating methodology. You were stealing this money and then trying to use it to buy and run the company, deposing the owners.

“You have inflicted far more collective pain on the owners of the company and their employees.”

The judge rejected much of Gittens’s claim the money was spent on medical bills. “Trying to help someone by ruthlessly destroying the lives of others can’t be good mitigation.” 

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Boozy Plane Groper Fondled Woman Sitting In Front

A drunken plane passenger, returning to Scotland after visiting his new-born baby in India, has been sentenced for groping the breast of a mum travelling with her two young children.

Father-of-three Saranjeet Bassi, 29, reached between the gap in the seats in front of him to squeeze the woman during the flight from Qatar to Heathrow.

“I feel what he did was sexual, the grabbing of my boob,” she said in a victim impact statement. “I have a mix of emotions, I was angry and wanted him off the flight.

“I was with my kids and it makes me feel sick and violated. He took advantage and I don’t want him to do this to anyone else.”

Bassi, of Craiglea, Causewayhead, Stirling, was convicted of sexually assaulting the woman on the Qatar Airways flight on December 12, last year.

Bassi turned to alcohol after his mother, Gurmit Bassi, 52, was convicted at Glasgow’s High Court of murdering his restauranteur father’s new pregnant wife in 1998.

He was sentenced to a two-year community order and ordered to complete 200 hours community service and pay £1,000 costs.

Bassi must also attend at least 100 days of a probation-service ordered rehabilitation activity requirement, which includes an alcohol treatment requirement.

Isleworth Crown Court heard Bassi was convicted of exposing himself in 2014 and playing with himself in front of two women.

“Alcohol seems to have played a part and this was a consequence of having consumed too much and the abuse of alcohol that has played a part in his life up until now,” said Mr. Matthew Pardoe, defending.

“He is not a daily drinker, but a binge drinker and now says he has stopped completely.

“He is very scared about the prospect of going to prison. 

“It was a journey both to see his new-born child, who is under a year old and to secure that child a British passport.”

Recorder Stephen Bellamy-James QC said: “It would be more impressive if he was going to Alcoholics Anonymous and going through the twelve steps.

“This is a pretty bizarre case in any event. The alcohol problem he’s got not only disinhibits him, but makes him unaware of what he’s doing.

“If he is not careful he is going to end up in custody for a long time.

“It is a strange and bizarre incident that I accept has caused upset and trauma to the victim on the plane.”

The judge told Bassi: “You drank quite a lot of alcohol, probably doubles, on the plane from India to Doha and then more while waiting for your connecting flight.

“You had a troubled upbringing and were placed in psychiatric wards and foster care by your mother and you were taunted and bullied in childhood.

“You took to drinking as a teenager to cope with the problems of your childhood.

“You do need help with your alcohol addiction and mental health. You have a last opportunity to try and reform your behaviour and conduct.”

Bassi was also ordered to sign the sex offenders register for five years.  

He fought the case and the victim told the jury: “I felt him putting his hand through the gap in the seats and he grabbed my right breast. 

“On a scale of one to ten it was a five. It was not painful, but it was definitely felt.”

She said Bassi began playing with her eighteen month-old son between the seats just twenty minutes after taking off.

“He said: ‘What a cute child, can I offer him a sweet?’ I said: ’No’ because I could smell alcohol on his breath and did not want anything to do with him.

“It was quite strong. I could smell it on his breath even when not talking to him.”

The woman, who was also travelling with her seven year-old, told the jury she confronted Bassi after being groped.

“I stood up immediately and said: ‘Excuse me, that’s not called for’ and gave him a look of disgust and he just stared at me.”

She complained to cabin crew, but Bassi refused to move, later telling police to do so would be an admission of wrongdoing.

Because she was in a baby seat with a cot the mum had to remain where she was. “I was helpless, upset, I couldn’t do anything about it and had no chance, but to sit there.”

Two hours later she felt further contact from Bassi, she said. “I felt a foot rubbing my foot under the seat.”

Again she complained to the flight crew and the defendant again refused to budge.

“When he was asked to move he became quite rude and aggressive and said he had not done anything wrong and had been asleep all the time.

“I was humiliated, embarrassed and very upset.”

Bassi was arrested at Heathrow. “He denied grabbing her breast and said he was rubbing his foot on the seat in front,” prosecutor Mr. Jonathan Wright told the jury.

“He said he did not move because that would be an admission of wrongdoing.”

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Local Court Regular Sentenced For Damaging Door at Nick Clegg's House

A local tearaway, who damaged a door at the £2.1m home of Former Deputy Prime minister and Liberal Democrats leader Nick Clegg has been sentenced.

Ricky Broom, 33, of Upper Richmond Road, Putney, had been wanted by police after initially failing to appear at Wimbledon Magistrates Court after receiving a postal requisition.

A warrant without bail was issued for his arrest.

Broom pleaded guilty to one count of causing criminal damage to a door on October 15 at the address in Parkfields, Putney.

He was fined £120 and ordered to pay £100 compensation and a £30 victim surcharge.

It is the family home of Mr. Clegg, 50, his wife Miriam Gonzalez Durantez and their three sons. 

The former MP lost his Sheffield Hallam seat after 12 years in this year’s general election.

He was Lib Dem leader between 2007 and 2015.



Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Social Worker And Company Director Conspirator Jailed For £25K Care Fraud On Council

Baiyewu: Jailed For Care Plot
A social worker and her co-conspirator have been jailed after she exploited two vulnerable adults by grossly-inflating their care needs in a £25,000 fraud.

Valerie Baiyewu, 51, also illegally sub-let a private rented flat - effectively turning it into a care home for the men - behind the backs of the council she worked for.

Merton Council social worker Baiyewu, of Nottingham Avenue, West Beckton, Newham was found guilty of conspiring to defraud the council by abusing her position between May 1 and December 15, 2015.

Care company director Ayodeji Aderounmu, 50, of Scotson House, Marylee Way, Lambeth was also convicted of conspiracy to defraud and they both received 18 months imprisonment.

Baiyewu was also found guilty to of two counts of fraud by abuse of position between the same dates, relating to her assessments of Bazhad Bakshe-Riazi and Giovandan Karunanithy.

Merton Council lost approximately £25,000 to the pairs’ company AAA Carers Ltd. with Baiyewu responsible for £14,500. 

Kingston-upon-Thames Crown Court heard Baiyewu reassessed the care needs of two clients from £1,107 and £5,208 per year to £19,913 and £24,588 respectively.

At the same time she and Aderounmu together arranged for their company to take over the contracts.

Mr. Bazhad Bakshe-Riazi, had suffered a brain injury in 2013 and needed speech and language therapy and suffered weakness to the right side of his body and had been referred to the council by a charity.

Mr. Karunanithy, was partially-sighted with limited english and needed help with his shopping and preparing food.

“The purpose of this was financial gain. That’s why the assessments were increased, to increase the stream coming through from the care budget,” said Recorder Mark Bryant-Heron QC.

Aderounmu: Jailed For 25K Fraud
“You utilised your knowledge of the system to establish a business with your co-defendant without informing Merton social services,” he told Baiyewu.

“This involved you inflating the care requirements of these two vulnerable adults to maximise income from this dishonest scheme and you maintained the deception before the authorising panel.

“Your employer had no idea and you both did this to maximise income from care and housing benefit.

“There is no doubt the whole purpose of this plan was to benefit dishonestly at the expense of Merton social services.”

Prosecutor Mr. Nick Wayne said: “Baiyewu abused her position  as a social worker for gain. Aderounmu would gain more hours and more money as a carer and potentially make money by subletting houses out to clients of hers.”

The pair rented a Mitcham flat at 19 Holborn Way at £1,550 per month, which they sub-let to the men, who were on housing benefit for £850 per month each.

“She concluded Mr. Bakshe-Riazi was no longer able to manage the activities of his daily life because there had been, in her opinion, a degradation of his condition,” said Mr. Wayne.

“She recommended a new care package substantially greater than the original care package.”

She also reassessed Mr. Karunanithy. “She concluded his health and well-being had been compromised by his living conditions.”

The jury were told Baiyewu failed to disclose she was their new landlord to Merton Council.

“Her plan was to house them together and the Crown say this was with a view to make money out of the arrangement.”

The defendants passed themselves off as a couple intending to live in the flat when agreeing the letting with the owner, the jury were told.

“They had no intention of living there, but house clients of Baiyewu in the property.

The fraud was exposed when the flat owner, Louis Broomes, visited to check and a neighbour revealed it was not a couple, but two men living there, the court heard.

Aderounmu was “cagey” during an internal inspection, said Mr. Wayne. “It began to dawn on Mr. Broomes that his property was being used as a care home.

“He wanted everyone out of the property and told Merton Council.”

Baiyewu was arrested at work on November 23, 2015. “She said she thought it would be a good solution for them if they lived together.

“She said she had taken no profit.

“By the deliberate exaggerating of hours of care it was Merton Council who were defrauded.

“They had to pay out for care services that were simply not needed.”


Baiyewu’s lawyer Mr. Brent Martin said: “The stress of this situation has negatively effected her mental health. Her career is in tatters as a result of this.”

Monday, 20 November 2017

Cheating Son Must Repay £9,900 For Dad House Fraud

More Prison Time? : Nicholas Forrester
A son who secretly remortgaged his parents’ home to finance a buy-to-let property portfolio while claiming benefits has been ordered to repay £9,900.

Nicholas Leroy Forrester, 51, took out a £300,000 loan on the £1.5m six-bedroom Hammersmith property - his family’s home of thirty-five years.


He used the money to help purchase three properties in east London while having the rent paid on his own discounted housing association flat by taxpayers.

At Isleworth Crown Court, where last year he received three years and four months, Forrester was told to pay the sum or serve an extra six months imprisonment.

Father-of-two Forrester, of Perham Road, West Kensington was convicted of obtaining a £300,000 money transfer by deception between February 1 and June 30, 2006.

He also pleaded guilty to five counts of making a dishonest representation to obtain benefits, namely Jobseekers Allowance; Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit totalling £10,000.

He deceived his 83 year-old dad Ivor Forrester.

“Your behaviour as far as your father’s property was concerned was profoundly dishonest and false representations were used towards your father and almost certainly your mother,” Judge John Dennis told him.

“It was well-planned, taking advantage of vulnerable individuals.

Dad : Ivor Forrester
“You became fixated with the opinion that this house was your house and when the equity rose you were determined to strip it out to pursue your own commercial ventures, which did not go well.

“Your family has now effectively rejected you and your father feels let-down by you and defrauded.”

Forrester no longer owns the three investment properties, which included a house in Napier Road, Leytonstone he bought with the help of a £65,000 cash deposit.

Prosecutor Mr. Benjamin Waidhofer told the court the house was transferred to Nicholas in 1999 during his father’s bankruptcy, with his dad continuing to pay all the bills.

However, in 2006 he persuaded his parents to sign paperwork for a new loan. “The defendant had no right to make this application and Ivor would never have made it.

“This defendant was always saying the house was his in that it was going to be his inheritance.

“He claimed benefits as somebody who was unemployed, owned no properties and had no savings or income.”

The High Court returned the property title to Ivor, who continues to live there, but he must make the £1,100 per month repayments on the loan taken out by his son.

“He was in debt and out of work,” said Forrester’s lawyer Miss Sam Bonner. “The properties he bought were all repossessed and taken from him.

“The family relationships are very fractured now and he is extremely low, very stressed and extremely remorseful.

“This has taken a toll on him physically and mentally as well as financially.”

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Pompey Fan Shoved Steward During Away Win At AFC Wimbledon

AFC Wimbledon 0 Portsmouth 2
An over-excited Portsmouth supporter was nicked for shoving a steward during his team's two-nil away win against AFC Wimbledon earlier this season.

Michael Buckingham, 29, of Hawthorn Crescent, Cosham, had travelled to the Kingsmeadow stadium for the League One fixture on September 9.

He appeared at Wimbledon Magistrates Court last Wednesday where he pleaded guilty to assaulting matchday steward Anthony Stewart.

Buckingham was conditionally discharged for twelve months and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

The court heard Buckingham was one of many away fans who encroached onto the pitch and he “ran up and pushed Mr. Stewart hard with both hands.”

Afterwards the defendant told police: “He pushed me so I pushed him back.”

The steward told officers: “I did not feel injured and it dd not effect my role in any way.”

Buckingham penned a written apology to Mr. Stewart and the court.

He said from the dock: “I really regret my actions I'm very sorry. It's a one-off, it won't happen again.”

The magistrate told Buckingham: “As you say it was a moment of madness.”