Wednesday, 30 September 2009

'Ladygarden' Grope Spells End For Floral Team

An award-winning floral duo split after one half of the platonic partnership allowed his green fingers to wander in his teammate’s ladygarden as she dozed on the sofa.

A twenty-one year friendship and mutual love of gardening was shattered in seconds when 73 year-old Peter Power patted his knickerless companion twice between the legs.

The recently widowed Irishman, of Litchfield Gardens, Willesden, was sentenced to three months imprisonment, suspended for twelve months, after pleading guilty at Blackfriars Crown Court to sexually assaulting the 56 year-old in the early hours of August 2, last year at her Camden home.

“They won the Camden Garden of the Year two years running,” Power’s lawyer Dianne Chan told the court. “That is now at an end. He has lost a friend and she has lost a friend.”

The victim was in tears the next day when chatting to her sister on the phone, recalling how she woke up to discover her trusted pal with his hand between her legs.

“There is some ancient romantic history between the two of them and they have been very close over the years,” explained Miss Chan. “He would help put her to bed, help with chores, walk the dog and they watched television together.

“He was trying to wake her up. He knows it is inappropriate to wake someone up by touching them in a private area, but it did the trick.

“Those two pats brought twenty-one years of friendship, a very close friendship to an end,” added Miss Chan. “The saddest thing is it is such a loss for the both of them.”

The court was told Power took care of the heavy lifting and manual labour in the victim’s garden and she concentrated on design and presentation.

“To lose a companion of many years after the loss of his wife was a double blow,” said Miss Chan. “They have not seen or contacted each other since.”

Judge Deva Pillay also ordered Power to sign on the sex offender’s register for the next five years and placed him under probation supervision for twelve months.

“I am sure you utterly regret what you did that night,” the Judge told Power. “There were many other ways you could have woken her.

“Your behaviour was utterly unacceptable, but you lost your good name and a long friendship.”

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Arrest In 'Body In Suitcase' Death

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murdering 37 year-old care worker Leah Questin, whose decomposed body was found stuffed inside a suitcase in a dried-up pond.

Police believe she had arranged to meet an internet blind-date after responding to a personal ad on website Gumtree.

Philippines-born Questin, (pictured) of Sneyd Road, Cricklewood, disappeared near the Elephant and Castle on September 12 and was discovered off Buckland Road, Cliffe, Rochester, Kent, on September 24.

A 35 year-old man, an IT professional, was arrested today (September 29) in Malpas Road, Lewisham, and is being questioned by officers from Hendon’s Homicide and Serious Crime Command at a North London police station.

Forensic tests on Questin’s body are continuing after an initial post mortem proved inconclusive as to the cause of death.

She was reported missing to Brent’s Missing Persons Unit by a friend on the evening of September 16/17 after last being seen at home.

Detective Chief Inspector, Peter Lansdown, said: "As a result of enquiries into Leah's disappearance, we have established through CCTV footage, that she travelled alone on the 172 bus in the area of Elephant and Castle and was heading south on 12 September.

"She boarded this bus on the New Kent Road shortly after exiting Elephant and Castle underground station. It is still not clear where she was heading to.

"Leah is described as 4ft 11 inches tall with a petite build. She has a light complexion and long black hair. Leah was wearing a red top and blue jeans.

"I appeal to anyone who saw Leah in south east London or on the 172 bus or its route on Saturday 12 September to contact us.

"We also need to hear from anyone who may have seen her after 12 September and up until her body was found as we need to understand where she was going, who she was meeting and how she came to be murdered.

"We continue to liaise with our colleagues at Kent Constabulary and I would like to thank them for their work during the early stages of this enquiry."

Monday, 28 September 2009

G20 Riot Cop Facing Court For Assault

A riot cop, caught on camera slapping a female protester then striking her leg with a police baton during the City of London G20 disturbances earlier this year, will face court in seven weeks time accused of assault.

Police Sergeant Delroy (Tony) Smellie, (pictured),a member of the Metropolitan Police’s elite Territorial Support Group has been suspended pending an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

He has been summonsed to appear at City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court on November 16 accused of assaulting Brighton protestor Nicola Fisher, 35, on April 2.

Contoversial footage of the officer’s confrontation with Ms. Fisher has been broadcast on television and the internet after demonstrators captured the incident on mobile phones.

A second woman also lodged a formal complaint against PS Smellie, but the Crown Prosecution Service announced there was insufficient evidence to proceed on those allegations.

In a statement, a CPS spokesman said: "The Crown Prosecution Service has decided that there is sufficient evidence to charge Police Sergeant Delroy (Tony) Smellie with the offence of assault by beating of Nicola Fisher on 2 April 2009 at a demonstration in the City of London."

The incident happened on the second day of the G20 protests as Ms. Fisher joined a large crowd attending a vigil for newspaper seller Ian Tomlinson who died the previous evening after being struck by a T.S.G officer.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Jail For Chemical Bomb Hoaxer

A hoaxer who triggered an evacuation after warning U.S. officials a chemical bomb was about to explode in busy Times Square, New York, was locked up for four years following copycat claims in London.

Jobless Jamal Ahmed, 20, of Miersfield, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, made a string of bogus calls to Scotland Yard, the NYPD, the CIA and other security agencies.

New York cops evacuated several addresses on West 45th Street, including Frankie and Johnnies’s Steakhouse – where the bomb was supposedly planted – closed the street and ushered in bomb experts.

Ahmed, who claimed he was bored and high on cannabis when making the terror calls, pleaded guilty at Aylesbury Crown Court to two counts of communicating information which he knew or believed to be false with the intent of inducing false belief that a chemical bomb was to detonate.

The day after the New York scare Ahmed made a similar chemical bomb hoax call to the Home Office, claiming he was a foreign spy with knowledge of an Al Qaeda London plot.

Ahmed, fortunate not to be rotting in an American Supermax Prison in the middle of the Nevada desert for terror offences, was sentenced to thirty-two months imprisonment for the New York call, plus sixteen months for the London hoax.

Detectives from the Met's Counter Terrorism Command traced the calls – made on a pal’s SIM card - to Ahmed’s home address where they arrested him.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

G20 Trio Appear

Three G20 protesters, arrested following violent clashes between demonstrators and police in the City of London during the meeting of world leaders earlier this year, have appeared in the dock for second time.

Pascal Bouzenard, 39, of Alvington Crescent, Hackney is charged with violent disorder and was bailed unconditionally until October 15 to apply for legal aid.

Michael Wells, 50, of Rutland Gardens, Finsbury Park, pleaded not guilty to causing £1,200 worth of criminal damage to an ITN camera during a live news broadcast and was bailed until his trial on January 15, next year.

Phillip Georgopoulos, 26, of Prestonville road, Brighton is charged with violent disorder and was bailed until November 6 for Crown Court committal.

It is alleged he threw two scaffold brackets at police lines during the height of the disturbances and threw a flat-screen monitor through a window at the Royal Bank of Scotland.

All three appeared before JP’s at City of London Magistrates’ Court.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Kiwi's St. James' Park Rape Ordeal

A young Kiwi who made the mistake of choosing lawless London for a working holiday was raped and robbed in the shadow of Buckingham Palace after meeting three strangers on a nightbus home.

The 21 year-old New Zealander had missed the last tube train after enjoying an evening drinking with pals and in the early hours was taken to historic St. James’ Park by the three men.

She was subjected to a two-and-a-half hour rape ordeal by two of them who face lengthy prison sentences when they return to Southwark Crown Court on October 23.

Ismail Acar,(pictured), 21, of Millfield, Six Acres Estate, Finsbury Park, pleaded guilty to raping the victim three times, assault by penetration and robbing her of jewellery and a handbag containing cash, bank cards and an ipod on August 25, last year.

Jobless Callem Fearnehough, 21, also of Millfield, Six Acres Estate, denied, but was convicted by the jury of raping her twice and robbing her of the same items.

The third man, jobless Dimitri McKenzie-Saunders, 21, of Holloway Road, Upper Holloway was acquitted of three rape counts and robbery.

She attempted to escape her assailants, but was recaptured and the ordeal continued.

The attackers demanded her PIN number so they could empty her bank accounts, but Acar was foiled at a Charing Cross cashpoint, after the victim gave a bogus number.

A park security guard detained McKenzie-Saunders just before 5am and Acar and Fearnehough were arrested two hours later on Horse Guards Road after two PCSO’s identified them from a circulated description.

The victim was taken to a Haven centre where she received medical care and counselling from specially trained staff who guide victims of sexual assaults through the immediate aftermath of the trauma.

DS Ivon Beer, of Westminster’s Sapphire Unit – which was commended by the trial Judge - said: "This was a horrific attack on a woman who has shown great courage throughout this investigation and who was brave enough to come into court and give evidence against her attackers.

"We hope this conviction will reassure the victim in this case and the public that all allegations of rape are fully and comprehensively investigated, no matter what the background or circumstances of the incident."

Crown Prosecution Service lawyer Lesley Jones said: "I would like to pay tribute to the victim in this case who, despite the horrific ordeal she endured, felt brave enough to stand up in court and give evidence.”

St. James's Park Rape: Photo Update

Pictured (right) is rapist Jobless Callem Fearnehough, 21, of Millfield, Six Acres Estate, who will return to Southwark Crown Court on October 23 for sentencing.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Barclays Bank Man Charged

A Barclays Bank customer account advisor, accused of stealing £34,350 from his employers, was committed to Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday.

Jason Philip Hopgood, 24, of Hollingworth Close, West Molesey, Surrey, was bailed by City of London Magistrates’ Court to appear for a plea and case management hearing on October 27.

He is charged that between March 1, 2008 and January 24, this year, within the jurisdiction of the Central Criminal Court, he dishonestly abused his position with intent to gain, by manipulating various personal accounts of customers, falsified messages and carried out other improper acts, contrary to the Fraud Act.

He is also charged with stealing £34,350 from Barclays Bank between January 1 and 24, this year.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Cashpoint Crook's Crime Blitz

An ingenious cashpoint crook who launched a £6,000-plus nighttime blitz on a building society’s machines after copycat crimes in Northern Ireland had an extra six months added to his jail term on Tuesday.

French-Algerian Abdel Karim Redjel, 30, of 25 Alveston Drive, Belfast, targeted the Coventry Building Society and fleeced cashpoints using his top-secret technique.

He pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court to seventeen counts of Transactional Reversal Fraud on various dates between May 25 and June 2, 2007 totalling £6,300.

The court heard Redjel opened a string of bogus accounts, but employed a system whereby withdrawls were not debited.

Outside, Detective Constable Dave Job of the joint Metropolitan and City of London Police's Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit said: “I don’t know how he does it.

“He puts a card in, adds the PIN, requests £500 and as the cash comes out of the drawer he physically interferes with the machine. If I knew how he did it I might not be doing this!”

Redjel, who is also wanted in Germany for similar crimes, was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment on each count to run concurrently with each other, but consecutively to four-and-a-half years he is serving in Lurgan Prison.

“I bear in mind this was a skillful and organized attack on the banks. You moved very fast and were fully aware of your dishonesty,” Judge James Wadsworth QC told Redjel.

Prosecutor Mr Martin Whitehouse told the court: “This was a transactional reversal fraud. The defendant would place his legitimate card in the machine and as the money came out manipulated the machine.

“The machine would send a message to the Coventry Building Society to recredit the account.”

Redjel moved swiftly around Coventry at night, hitting six cashpoints between 10.30 and 11.30pm with one card and then blitzing six more with another two cards from 3am the next day.

“It is extremely clever,” added Mr Whitehouse. “The cards are legitimate, but wether the process of obtaining them is legitimate, I doubt.

“He also tried to get away with a further £1,500,” added the prosecutor.

In 2005 Redjel was sentenced to three years imprisonment, suspended for five years, in Northern Ireland.

This was activated in March this year when Redjel was sentenced for further cashpoint crimes in Ulster.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Beverley Murder: Man Charged

A man accused of the brutal killing of a 30 year-old woman who suffered fatal head injuries was due to appear today (Tuesday) at Woolwich Magistrates Court.

Chef Adam Mann, 28, of Springfield Road, Welling, is charged with murdering Lisa Beverley at her home in Coupland Place, Plumstead, on or before September 16.

A 26 year-old woman arrested on September 21 is currently on police bail and will return to a South London police station early next month pending further enquiries.

The police and London Ambulance Service, responding to an emergency call, arrived at the deceased’s home at 6 am on September 16 and recovered her body.

A post mortem examination at Greenwich Mortuary resulted in an official cause of death as severe head injuries.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Miss Jailed For Lesbian Love Match With Pupil

A schoolteacher at a prestigious all-girl private school, who enjoyed a six-month lesbian affair with a 15 year-old pupil, even whisking the schoolgirl off to Paris for a romantic weekend, was jailed for 15 months today.

Popular music teacher Helen Goddard, 26, a talented trumpeter who performed at the Sydney Olympics, and nicknamed ‘The Jazz Lady’ by children at the fee-paying school had sex with the pupil during secret trysts.

Goddard, of Thornham Street, Greenwich, pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court to six sample counts of sexually touching the consenting pupil between February 15 and March 1; February 28 and April 1; March 31 and May 1; April 30 and June 1; May 31 and July 1 and June 30 and July 11.

Her career is in tatters after Judge Anthony Pitts also banned her from working with children for life and ordered her to sign the sex offenders’ register for ten years.

The only good news for tearful Goddard (pictured above) was the Judge’s refusal to ban her from seeing the girl for five years.

“I think it would be draconian and unnecessarily cruel to her as well.”

Police launched an investigation after the £13,000 a year school received a tip-off and when officers raided Goddard’s home they seized various sex toys including vibrators and “fluffy handcuffs”.

The girl's parents condemned the teacher for the “complete betrayal” of trust.

“This is a difficult case. The evidence showed you were having a full-on sexual relationship with the girl for many months,” Judge Pitts told petite Goddard.

“She has made it clear that the sexual contact between you was consensual and she says in her statement that in fact it was instigated by her.

“It is, of course, against the law to engage in sexual activity with a person under 16, even with her consent. These are serious offences in their own right.

"But the particularly aggravating feature evident here of course is that you were her music teacher throughout this period and from well before the sexual relationship started,” added the Judge.

“In this case you clearly knew it was wrong to a start a sexual relationship with her and you knew the dangers to your career as a teacher.

“The relationship involved a fair degree of deception not only in respect of the school, but also to the girl’s parents.

“They made a statement they felt you betrayed their trust. They feel particularly betrayed by the deception of the Paris weekend.

“This case is so serious that an immediate prison sentence is inevitable.”

Goddard grew up in Farnborough, Hants, where she played the trumpet from an early age and was a member of Hampshire County Youth Band.

She was one of only five young musicians from England invited to play at the Sydney Olympics opening ceremony in 2000.

Prosecutor Mrs. Regina Naughton said the affair came to light on July 7 when the school reception received an anonymous email headed “concerned parent” and expressing concerns about a sexual relationship between a teacher and a pupil.

The following day it was followed by another, identifying the defendant and the girl and saying: “Please act quickly.”

Mrs. Naughton said when officers first spoke to the child she denied anything wrong had occurred, but 24 hours later confessed to her mother.

“She said she, the girl, had instigated the relationship and felt guilty for the situation she had put Ms Goddard in and that she wished to continue the relationship.

“She also told her mother she was devastated that Ms Goddard would go to prison.”

“She describes the pair having feelings for one another, and that that was not planned or expected,” added the prosecutor.

“This developed into them flirting with each other and sending text messages to each other.

“They went for a walk one day and she describes kissing Ms Goddard on the lips, which Ms Goddard responded to.”

The youngster also spoke of lying to her parents to stay at the trumpet teacher’s home where they shared a bed and kissed.

Further lies and more overnight stays followed as the relationship developed.

Mrs. Naughton said the pair also had “sexual relations” at her parents’ home.

In June, having declared they “loved each other” the girl told her parents she was going to spend a weekend with a relative in France, the girl and her teacher caught a plane to Paris.

“As part of the weekend, they went to the Gay Pride March,” said Mrs. Naughton.

Later she admitted, “both of them knew what they were doing was legally wrong, but that it felt right”. Since then the matter had “made her miserable and destroyed her”.

The couple’s mobile phones were also seized. They revealed 157 texts from the youngster to her teacher and 60 replies.

“Many of these were of an intimate and affectionate nature, some explicitly sexual.”

One from the teacher read: “It’s gonna be a beautiful day. I love you, you were on my mind all night.”

Goddard’s lawyer Anthony Heaton-Armstrong said his client was now “very remorseful” about what had happened and insisted she was “not in any sense a sexual predator”.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Serial Rapist Locked Up

This is the face of an evil rapist – caged for 14 years - who repeatedly attacked an 11 year-old girl following his release from a brutal gang-bang sentence.

Jobless and homeless predator Colin Miller, 29, was hunted down after a nationwide Crimewatch appeal and convicted at Wood Green Crown Court on five counts of raping the schoolgirl.

Miller, (pictured) attacked the girl in Tottenham between March and September 2005 and was arrested in July, last year, following a public appeal.

After Friday’s sentencing Detective Inspector Noel McHugh, the investigating officer from the Child Abuse Investigation Team at Haringey, said: "Miller's conviction demonstrates our total commitment to all allegations of serious sexual assault no matter how long ago the offence was committed.

"A successful conviction was achieved through the courage and bravery of the young victim and an exceptional investigation carried out by officers.

"I would also like to thank the media and the public for their support and assistance in capturing Miller.

"I hope Miller's conviction can go some way in assisting the victim in moving forward with her life."

On February 11, last year, the Child Abuse Investigation Team at Haringey launched an investigation, but despite enquiries to trace Miller, he evaded arrest.

Following a countrywide media appeal, including a Crimewatch plea, Miller was traced to an address in Tottenham.

During the trial, the court heard Miller was a convicted rapist who was jailed for five years for his role in a 1997 Wood Green gang-rape.

Miller had also pleaded guilty to a charge failing to comply with the Sex Offenders Register on 5 February 2009.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Phantom Pregnancy Triggers Toilet Tirade

A commuter experiencing a ‘phantom pregnancy’ hurled a torrent of abuse at a Waterloo Station toilet attendant who made her pay to use the facilities in the midst of a miscarriage panic.

Carer Florett Creary, 42, of Newenden Close, Ashford, Kent, and boyfriend Lee Nethercott, 30, of Ramsey House, Vassall Road, Brixton, pleaded guilty to using threatening words and behaviour at the station on February 19.

A joint charge of assaulting toilet attendant Miss Danuta Miszkiewicz was dropped by the prosecution when the pair appeared at City of London Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard Creary launched a foul-mouthed tirade towards the attendant as she left the ladies because Miss Miszkiewicz had lowered the entrance barrier, making the defendant pay.

Nethercott joined in the shouting and swearing in front of bustling commuters and this continued when police arrived.

“She had been drinking. She had three pints or cans that day,” explained Creary’s lawyer Mr. Quinton Newcombe. “She believed she was pregnant and had bleeding and feared a miscarriage.

“She did rush to the toilets and the attendant did put the barrier down to force payment,” added Mr. Newcombe. “An argument ensued and a second member of the public and the police got involved.

“She genuinely believed she was miscarrying and accepts she overreacted because she was upset and her behaviour after the police arrived was abhorrent.”

Medical tests before this date had confirmed Creary was pregnant, added the lawyer, but this was later dismissed by further evidence.

The mother-of-two has also attended an alcohol awareness course since the incident. “The amount of alcohol led her to behave in a way she would not normally have done,” said Mr. Newcombe.

Nethercott’s lawyer Mr. Robert Katz confirmed his client’s guilty plea put him in breach of a suspended prison sentence imposed by Inner London Crown Court and he was committed there by the JP’s for sentencing on September 21.

“He acted to prevent harm to his partner who he perceived to be under attack or suffering a miscarriage,” explained Mr. Katz. “He felt the police had not apprehended the right person and became voluble and there was waving of arms and shouting.”

Nethercott had also been drinking that day, confirmed Mr. Katz, adding his client has since attended a detox course.

The JP’s deferred sentence on Creary until March 22, next year, ordering her to keep out of trouble and produce a report from her alcohol awareness course.

The Chairman told her: “Your behaviour was appalling and must have caused unpleasantness and distress to observers at Waterloo Station.”

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Fashion Wannabe's Crooked Cash Cover-Up

A drug-money launderer, who fabricated a career in the fashion industry to cover her life of crime, was jailed for two-and-a-half years after police found heroin-tainted cash stuffed inside a safe during a raid on her house.

Lisa Raitt, 42, of Windmill Road, Slough, was also ordered to forfeit £259,000 after a Kingston Crown Court jury convicted her off possessing criminal property and five counts of fraud.

Central Task Force detectives armed with a search warrant swooped on Raitt’s home on February 6, last year, seizing £16,500, which the defendant claimed was an inheritance.

Police also discovered she made a fraudulent £12,000 housing and council benefit claim as well as bogus mortgage applications, telling lenders she was earning a legitimate living in the fashion industry.

Examination of her bank accounts and other evidence revealed Raitt (pictured above) was laundering tens of thousands of pounds in crime proceeds.

Investigating officer DC Barry Byron said: "This conviction is another example of how the Central Task Force exploits every opportunity to dismantle the networks against which we are tasked and target the individuals involved in this area of criminality.

“It also shows our commitment to work with other agencies to ensure that any public funds which have been unlawfully obtained can be recovered."

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Another Peckham Killing. Man Charged

A 49 year-old Peckham man has been accused of a brutal double stabbing which left one victim in the morgue and a second needing emergency hospital treatment following a bloody confrontation at his home.

Samuel Quamina, of Southampton Way, was charged on September 14 with murdering 24-year-old Perry Nelson Jr. of Norbury.

The victim (pictured) was rushed to Kings College Hospital, Denmark Hill, on September 10, but died from multiple stab wounds shortly afterwards.

A second man, aged 41, also suffered stab wounds and was discharged from the busy Accident & Emergency Department after treatment.

Quamina is also charged with maliciously wounding this victim, with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Police have also arrested Tyrone White, 38, of Colby Road, Crystal Palace, in relation to the same incident and charged him with attempted robbery.

Detectives from the Homicide and Serious Crime Command have been investigating and questioned and released two other suspects.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Dishonourable Toff's Greedy Charity Grab

The greedy disgraced grandson of a philanthropic Lord, who milked over £1.6m from a charity established by the generous artistocrat, blew the cash on a doomed spark plug invention plus posh wines, exclusive clubs and private schools.

Eton-educated The Honourable Jonathan Davies, 64, pleaded guilty to ten sample counts of stealing £232,000 between 1999 and 2000 from Dinam – a charity founded by his grandfather Lord David Davies in 1926.

Davies – the charity’s general secretary – also squandered funds on golf club membership, settling debts and lavishing gifts on family.

Investment banker Davies, of Ramsden Road, Wandsworth, only confessed to his crimes after his trial started at Southwark Crown Court and he will return for sentencing on a date to be fixed.

He handed £1.5million to an inventor developing a new type of spark plug and the losses of the Wales-based charity – involved in healthcare and international relations - are so damaging it faces closure.

Although the charges reflect dishonesty during his last year at the helm of the charity, inquiries revealed the father-of-six had actually taken a total of £1,656,143.

When the fraud came to light, he told “horrified” relatives a seven-figure fortune had been ploughed into the spark plug venture.

A detailed trawl through various documents, as well as his chequebooks, revealed he had also tried to cover up extensive personal expenditure.

Prosecutor Stephen Leslie QC said: “Many of us dream of having a bottomless piggy bank full of money that we can dip into whenever we need to solve our financial troubles – a tax demand, unpaid credit card debt, repairs to our car or an overdue bill.

“For most of us it remains just that, a dream. When we wake up, we realise that life doesn’t work like that and instead of dipping into the magical piggy bank, we have to go out and earn the money to pay for the bills we incur and the things we buy.

“Not so, however, for Jonathan Davies, he did not need to dream about a piggy bank, he had access to one.

But in order to use it he had to practice a fraud and the fraud he practiced was not on a faceless corporation like a bank or an insurance company or the Government, but on members of his own family.”

“He abused his position of authority and trust and turned the funds of the charity to his own uses,” added the QC.

“When his own financial means became stretched, he simply wrote a cheque to himself from the charity’s bank account, thereby solving the problem immediately.”

Davies became involved with the charity in the Sixties before being appointed secretary in 1992.

Apart from preparing the charity’s financial reports and liaising with accountants, he was in possession of the body’s chequebook.

At the Dinam AGM on February 24, 2000 trustees reacted with horror after learning over £1 million had been ploughed into the spark plug scheme.

A total of 120 cheque stubs were examined and revealed “considerable discrepancies” designed to conceal the truth, the court heard.

Outside court, Detective Sergeant Ward, of the Met’s Private Sector Fraud Team, said: “It is really sad that the greed of Jonathan Davies has meant that a fund set up by his grandfather in order to invest millions so that charitable causes could benefit from the profits now faces closure.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Nigerian Murder: Second Man Charged

A second suspect charged with the brutal stabbing murder of a Nigerian man - who recently swapped his homeland for the killing fields of South-East London - now faces a date with an Old Bailey Judge.

Michael Henry, 38, of no fixed abode, was charged on September 10 with the murder of Sunny Eze, 35, who suffered multiple stab wounds on March 4 in a ground floor flat at Vyvyan House, Campbell Close, Woolwich.

Jobless Mark Anthony Brown, 34, of no fixed address, has already appeared at Greenwich Magistrates' Court on March 25 charged with the murder and is due to stand trial at the Old Bailey along with Henry.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Gun Sights Bound For Iran

A businessman accused of unlawfully exporting 100 telescopic sights for firearms use in Iran appeared at City of London Magistrates’ Court after a seizure by Customs men at Heathrow Airport.

Company Director Andrew Faulkner, 41, of Hollyhock Farm, Dog Drove, Sutton St. James, Spalding, Lincolnshire, was bailed to return on October 27 for Crown Court committal after JP’s declined jurisdiction.

In a prosecution brought by Customs and Excise Faulkner is charged that on or before February 18, 2009 at Heathrow Airport, Hounslow and elsewhere in the U.K. he was knowingly concerned in the unlawful exportation of goods, namely optical sights.

One hundred Schmidt & Bender sights, worth 124,000 Euros, were packed into seven boxes seized by Customs and Excise at Heathrow on February 18.

They were bound for Dubai, but the prosecution allege the final destination for the scopes – which have 3 – 12x magnification - was Iran.

Faulkner, who only spoke to confirm his name, date of birth and address during the fifteen-minute hearing was arrested on February 23 and charged at Snow Hill Police Station, City of London on September 1.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Singer Charlotte Church's Ex Caged For 12 Years.

Singer Charlotte Church's ex boyfriend – caught after police seized nearly £10m worth of heroin in one of London’s largest drug busts last year – was jailed for 12 years on Thursday.

Barber Kyle Johnson, 24, of Cowbridge Road West, Cardiff, pleaded guilty at North London’s Wood Green Crown Court to possessing 149.35 kilos of heroin, with intent to supply.

He dated the Welsh songstress, dubbed 'Voice of an Angel', for eighteen months in 2003 and 2004.

Johnson (pictured with Charlotte) went on the run following a raid by the Metropolitan Police’s Central Task Force on a rented three-bedroom house in Meath Road, Forrest Gate, East London on December 4, last year.

Detectives knew he was effectively the warehouseman responsibly for looking after the drugs and Johnson surrendered himself on June 30 after a media appeal.

Two week earlier Calvin Markall, 20, of Menai Way, Rumney, Cardiff, was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, after pleading guilty to supplying large amounts of heroin in London before the police raid.

Inside the house – located in an ordinary street - officers found four brown cardboard boxes stacked on top of a single bed in one of the side room.

Split between the boxes were 597 envelopes stashed with a total of 149.35 kilos of heroin.

The drugs were high grade, with 60-65% purity and were packaged ready for distribution.

The total street valued was £9,956,000.

DI Colin Stephenson, from the Met's Central Task Force East, said:” This was one of the most significant drugs seizures by the Met last year, and has seriously disrupted a major criminal network planning to flood London with heroin over the Christmas period.

"The fact that Johnson handed himself in and pleaded guilty demonstrates the thoroughness of the investigation we conducted and the overwhelming evidence we obtained.

"Today's sentencing is yet another blow to those who attempt to supply drugs in London."

Markall was arrested in the street after undercover surveillance officers observed him leaving and locking the property with a set of house keys. 

Friday, 11 September 2009

Chinese Fake Student Scam Alleged

A woman accused of forging university and college documents for bogus Chinese students to apply for and extend their visas  was remanded in custody at City of London Magistrates Court yesterday (Thursday).

Officers from the City of London Police’s Economic Crime Unit raided a Holborn address on June 4 in their investigation said to involve sixty-five universities and colleges in England and Wales and seized  £13,000 cash hidden in a wardrobe.

Jiao Wang, 25 of 3 Magellan Place, Walthamstow is charged with forging university letter heads, university authentication stamps and Chinese Embassy stamps knowing it was in the course of or in connection with fraud between December 1, 2007 and June 4, this year within the jurisdiction of the Central Criminal Court.

She also faces a money laundering charge in that she acquired, used or had possession of criminal property, namely  £75,000 between June 4 and August 6 this year, within the jurisdiction of the Central Criminal Court.

The bogus certificates are alleged to have been sold for between  £600 and  £3,800 and were presented with visa applications to the UK Border Agency.

Wang will return to court on September 17.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Palm Beach Playboy Convicted Of Torture-Murder

A playboy Palm Beach property developer – who rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous in Florida’s most exclusive neighbourhood - faces a suntan-fading life sentence for the brutal torture-murder of a stubborn tenant.

Flash Thanos Papalexis, 37, was convicted at the Old Bailey of murdering 57 year-old Charalambos Christodoulides in March 2000 who was beaten and strangled in the North London warehouse he called home.

Described in court as a "classic psycho" Papalexis – allegedly aided by two Albanian henchmen - tortured and killed loner Christodoulides for refusing to leave a flat in a building he wanted to sell.

The caretaker was attacked before being tied to a chair, hooded, beaten further and finally strangled.

His body was found 15 days later hidden in a pit at the warehouse complex.

Londoner Papalexis (pictured) – the son of a wealthy Greek shipping tycoon - wanted to sell the Kilburn site to help raise cash to save his ailing property development business.

Although the £2m deal to sell the warehouse had collapsed Papalexis pocketed a £750,000 VAT rebate before creditors could get it and moved to Palm Beach.

In the US he reinvented himself and enjoyed a lavish lifestyle as an entrepreneur and playboy.

He rubbed shoulders with the social elite and last year even hosted former US President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary Clinton at a fund-raising gala for her presidential campaign.

He equipped his office with gold thrones, drove a Bentley convertible, wore Saville Row suits and rented a £1.8million beachfront mansion.

He threw parties, including one at which Paris Hilton and designer Valentino were guests.

Papalexis had a string of lovers, including blonde prostitute Rebecca DeFalco, 40, - who starred in hardcore sex films – and to whom he confessed killing Christodoulides.

He forked out thousands of pounds for orgies with hookers, bought boob jobs for four girlfriends and admitted in court that he enjoyed group sex.

He was extradited to Britain after his DNA was found on items at the London warehouse and will be sentenced on September 30.

Detective Inspector Brent Hyatt said: "Charalambos Christodoulides was a quiet and reserved man of impeccable character who Papalexis thought stood in the way of a property deal.

“We believe that this is why he was killed and throughout this 14-week trial, Papalexis has proved to be an enormously arrogant, compulsive and practiced liar driven by his desire to make money.

"In the nine years that it has taken to bring Papalexis to justice, all avenues of evidence have been fully explored to ensure that the best possible evidence can be put before the court.

"I hope this verdict goes someway to achieving justice for Charalambos and closure for his family.

“Despite their pain, they have patiently and wholeheartedly supported this investigation, behaving with great dignity throughout. I thank them for the support they have given me and the officers involved in this investigation.

"This investigation should also serve to remind those that commit murder in London that they should not rest easy. The MPS will relentlessly pursue them until they are placed before the courts to answer for their crimes. "

Homeless Ylli Xhelo, 36, and painter Robert Baxhija, 29, of Sidney Avenue, Palmers Green, North London, face a retrial.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Scotland Yard's Most Wanted Captured

A security van robbery suspect – on the run for six years after a dramatic armed escape outside a courthouse – has been arrested in Holland, says Scotland Yard.

Remand prisoner Noel Cunningham, 48, escaped from a prison van along with Clifford Hobbs in June 2003 outside Inner London Crown Court where he was appearing on a charge of conspiring to steal £1.25 million from a Securicor van.

Cunningham was en route from Brixton Prison to the courthouse, near Elephant and Castle, when the van was ambushed by two armed men who shot the driver in the leg and pistol-whipped a guard.

He recently appeared on Scotland Yard’s 40 most-wanted list and was being hunted by the Serious Organised Crime Agency.

Cunningham was arrested in Amstelveen, Amsterdam, on September 8 and is in custody pending a court hearing on September 11.

He faces extradition to the U.K. where he will eventually have his long-overdue court appearance.

Hobbs stayed with friends in south London before fleeing on a fake passport to France, Portugal and eventually Malaga in Spain.

He was arrested and extradited to the UK in 2007 and was jailed for life in February last year after he admitted organising an 'inside job' on the security van in March 2003.

Officers, who had been tipped off about the raid, moved in as the van made a pick-up from a cafe in Effra Road in Brixton, south London.

Hobbs, from Rotherhithe, south east London, also admitted escaping from lawful custody and a jury at Woolwich Crown Court found him guilty of having a firearm with intent to escape from custody.

Soon after he went on the run Cunningham's mother urged her son to give himself up.

Speaking from her home in Rotherhithe, Margaret Cunningham said: 'He must give himself up. It's no good being on the run from the police.'

Six Years For White Supremacist Loser

A jobless loser - who lived in misery with his mum and dad - was caged for a six-year minimum on Tuesday for making homemade bombs in his lonely bedroom to arm himself in a white supremacy campaign of terror.

Unemployed Neil Lewington, 43, had not uttered a word to his father in ten years at the family home in Tilehurst, Reading where police found weedkiller, firelighters, three tennis balls with diagrams on how to convert them into shrapnel bombs, firework powder, electrical timers and detonators.

He was convicted in July of having explosives with intent to endanger life and preparing for acts of terrorism.

Judge Peter Thornton said: "You are a dangerous man, somebody who exhibits emotional coldness and detachment.

"You would not have been troubled by the prospect of endangering somebody's life."

Lewington was arrested - on his way to an online date - last October at Lowestoft Station, Suffolk, after hurling abuse at a female train conductor.

A search of his bag uncovered two home-made bombs.

The judge said these had been made "to a very high standard."

"These were dangerous firebombs, meticulously constructed, all set to go," he said.

A notebook labelled "Waffen SS UK members' handbook" included a "device logbook" of drawings of electronics and chemical mixtures.

He also kept video tapes about right-wing extremists, including London nailbomber David Copeland and Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh - who murdered 168 people when he blew up a US government building in 1995.

During the trial, Lewington was described as a loner who had been unemployed for 10 years after losing his last job owing to drunkenness, and who had also not spoken to his father for a decade.

The court heard he spent time searching for girlfriends on chatlines, where he made racist remarks and spoke of converting tennis balls into bombs.

His defence QC had argued Lewington was just an "oddball" and was not a terrorist, but merely "a big pest, a nuisance".

But the judge told Lewington: "You were in the process of embarking upon terrorist activity.

"You were going to use or threaten action involving either serious violence to people or serious damage to property.

"This action was designed to intimidate non-white people and it was for the purpose of pursuing the ideological cause of white supremacy and neo-fascism, albeit in a rather unsophisticated way."

He will serve at least six years, but even then can only be released if the parole board considers he is no longer a threat to the public.

"Neil Lewington clearly set out to make viable devices which could have seriously injured or possibly killed members of the public going about their daily lives," said Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner John McDowall.