Monday, 28 February 2011

Car Criminal Grassed-Up By Cheated Husband

A rogue car trader, who registered vehicles in a dead man’s name, was shopped by his neighbour in revenge for bedding his one-time pal’s wife.

Stephen Conway, 58, of St. Hilda’s, Crescent, Gorleston, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk concealed his criminal past and duped a variety of insurance companies into covering the vehicles.

He pleaded guilty at Croydon Crown Court to six counts of fraud by false representation to the DVLA, AA and Zurich Insurance in relation to a Ford Puma, Ford Diablo and a Mercedes Sprinter van.

He also pleaded guilty to possessing an article in the use of fraud, namely a driving licence in the name of the deceased Reg Varney.

“You are an old lag. You have been in trouble thirty-two times for ninety-five offences,” Judge John Tanzer told Conway (pictured). “It is time you grew up, you are nearly, sixty, it is pathetic.

The court heard a couple identified only as the Dennison’s lived opposite Conway at his former home in Orpington, Kent and the husband began keeping a diary log of the defendant’s movements after discovering the affair.

“Between August, 2009 and August, last year the defendant was running a business, buying and selling cars on the Internet,” prosecutor Miss Shahnaz Ahmed told the court.

“The neighbour recorded Conway driving the vehicles in a diary and he also found mail addressed to the defendant’s home, including a speeding ticket, in another man’s name.”

Police raided Conway’s council house on June 20, last year and found tell-tale documents proving the defendant registered the vehicles in Mr. Varney’s name – thereby concealing his own shocking driving record.

“He had been driving these vehicles and even made a claim on one insurance policy after an accident and was sent a cheque for one thousand three hundred and forty pounds,” added Miss Ahmed.

“He has an appalling driving record and he could not have run such a business in his own name.”

Conway was later cleared of an attempted arson attack on the couple’s home, but was convicted of causing criminal damage and head butting Mr. Dennison.

The defendant had been a one-time friend of the couple’s, even helping them with building work at their Hasting holiday home.

After Conway’s wife died in the early 90’s he found it difficult forming relationships with women and eventually had an affair with Mrs Dennison.

The tension between the three of them escalated and Conway successfully made a council transfer to Great Yarmouth last year.

The court heard he has convictions for supplying drugs, fraud, theft, deception, perjury, taking and driving away, drink-driving, handling stolen goods, harassment and battery.

“Your lifetime has been a catalogue of going up and down the British Isles committing offences,” Judge Tanzer told Conway, currently on Disability Living Allowance.

“It is tragic that you are back before a court yet again, but at least you have moved away from the rather interesting threesome you created.”

Conway was sentenced to twelve months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, placed on a two-year supervision order and disqualified from driving for three years.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Jewellery Shop Sledgehammer Gang Smashed

Four young smash-and-grab robbers armed with sledgehammers, who snatched £155,000 worth of Rolex and Longines watches from a jewellery shop, have been locked-up.

Have-a-go-heroes detained a member of the gang as shocked shoppers filmed events on their mobile phones during the daring daylight raid in exclusive High Street, Kensington.

All four pleaded guilty at Kingston-upon-Thames Crown Court to robbing Ernest Jones Jewellers on October 14, last year.

They are: Alfie Atherton, 18, (pic.l.) of Saxon Lea Court, Saxon Road, Bow, East London, who received four years.

Charles Knight, 20, (pic.2nd l.) of Crowland Road, South Tottenham, North London, who received eight years.

Dominic Charles, 22, (pic.3rd l.) of Girdlestone Walk, Upper Holloway, North London, who received seven-and-a-half years.

Emilio Aristides, 21, (pic.r.) of Camden Road, Camden, North London, who received seven-and-a-half years.

They were members of a six-strong gang clad in dark clothing and full-visor crash helmets who pulled-up outside the busy store on three high-powered sports motorbikes at 10:40am.

Two pillion passengers got off the bikes with their weapons and started smashing through glass display cabinets.

They stole twenty-six watches and stuffed them into holdalls.

Meanwhile, the three riders circled their bikes outside the shop, revving their engines in order to intimidate the public and stop traffic.

Charles stayed outside the shop, waving his sledgehammer around to threaten and intimidate passers-by into staying back, but was forced to drop the weapon by a member of the public.

As the robbers tried to flee Aristides was pulled off his bike and detained by passers-by until arrested by police.

The remaining defendants were caught in nearby Holland Park and two unknown accomplices successfully escaped.

Detective Superintendent John O'Leary, of the Metropolitan Police’s Flying Squad, said: “I would like to express my gratitude for the bravery of the members of the public who intervened.

“Their actions and those of local officers from Kensington & Chelsea have led directly to this active, criminal gang being convicted today.

“Whilst we would always urge people not to put themselves in danger, I can only applaud the actions of those who intervened whether directly or by filming events.”

Detective Inspector Jason Prins, in charge of the investigation said: “This was a violent robbery in broad daylight in one of London's busiest shopping streets and the events must have been terrifying for the employees and members of the public who witnessed it.

“I would like to pay tribute to the onlookers who intervened - in particular those who pulled Emilio Aristides off his motorbike and detained him until the arrival of police officers.

“We also give thanks to those who filmed the incident on their mobile phones.

“This video footage became crucial evidence and contributed greatly to guilty pleas from all four defendants.

“Today’s sentences send out a strong message that this type of criminal behaviour will not be tolerated and that the public and the police can work together against criminals.

“There are two suspects who are outstanding and we continue to appeal to anyone with any information to contact Barnes Flying Squad on 020 8247 4804 or if you wish to remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

Atherton was sentenced to an additional four years imprisonment for robbing a security van at Muswell Hill Broadway, North London on August 5, last year.

All 26 watches were covered in good condition.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Drug Den Man Dodges Prison

A man who allowed his flat to be used as a base for cocaine dealers to prepare drugs to be sold on the streets of Mitcham - collecting £300 for his co-operation - dodged prison with a suspended sentence yesterday.

Window fitter Daniel Waters, 28, received twelve months' imprisonment, suspended for twelve months, was ordered to complete 150 hours community service, attend a Thinking Skills programme and pay £320 costs.

Judge Daniel Flahive told Waters at Croydon Crown Court (pictured): "You played an important role in the supply of drugs to the streets of Mitcham. They would use your premises to plot up their drugs into packages.

"You were clearly motivated by money and you were profiting from money made by drug dealers."

Friday, 25 February 2011

Bogus Sports Entrepreneur Spun Olympic-Sized Lies

Five top British athletes were conned by an ex-jailbird - seeking to cash in on the London Olympics - believing his bogus company had sponsorship deals totalling £35m lined up, a court heard.

Global Sponsorship Group Ltd. promised lucrative sponsorship deals with FTSE 100 companies including Audi, Virgin and Vodafone in return for a £500 membership fee.

In reality the company was penniless and set-up by convicted fraudster Mark Cas, 47, of West Brook Road, Thornton Heath, Croydon - formerly of Botley Road, North Baddesley, Hampshire - who collected approximately £11,000-£12,000 in fees.

The five athletes are: Darlaston, Walsall-born Olympic and Commonwealth gold medalist sprinter Mark Lewis-Francis, 29, (pictured) who agreed a £144,000 three-year contract.

Nottingham-born Reigning European and Commonwealth 110m hurdles champion Andy Turner, 30, from Hucknall, who agreed a £132,000 three-year contract

Heptathlete and TV Gladiator star Lucy Boggis, 20, who agreed an eight-year deal worth over £456,000

Sprinter Abi Oyepitan, 31, a Commonwealth bronze medalist, who agreed an £86,000 three-year deal.

Former national long jump champion Gary Wilson, 25, who agreed a £72,000 three-year deal.

Cas has pleaded not guilty at Croydon Crown Court to falsely representing to each athlete Global Sponsorship Group Ltd. would pay those sponsorship contracts and in some cases cover medical bills and provide an Audi car.

"He was formulating a bogus scam whereby athletes would be conned into parting with their money," prosecutor Mr. Mark Paltenghi told the jurors. "The scam was brought about by him trying to climb on the London Olympics bandwagon.

"The defendant identified there was money to be made in the corporate world of sponsorship amongst British athletes because there was a lot of them that needed support.

"He devised a half-way house, in his own words, a match-making service for a fee," added Mr. Paltenghi.

"His business purported to provide a lifeline for athletes who needed funding and for a fee provide companies that were willing to provide it.

"It all looked very attractive, very profitable. The answer to the prayers of many athletes.

"This scheme was never intended to be genuine, it was utterly bogus and dishonest from the outset, dreamt up as a plausible enterprise.

"The defendant did not have a £35m portfolio. There were no corporate sponsors. He did not have a single penny of funding available at all."

The court was told Cas used the five "Ambassador" athletes to woo younger promising athletes, with their parents often paying the membership fee to secure lucrative sponsorship.

Cas - previously convicted under his birth name Castley - has already pleaded guilty to seven specimen fraud counts in relation to those victims.

Trial continues...........

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Postmaster Who Helped Himself To ATM Cash Dodges Jail

A postmaster, who raided his branch’s ATM and covered the £25,000 shortfall by entering bogus figures in an accounts log, has dodged prison with a suspended sentence.

Father-of-three Parvar Singh, 42, of Rectory Road, Grays, Essex, was the boss of the Tile Farm Road sub-Post Office in Bromley, South-East London.

“People involved in this sort of breach of trust would normally be sent down straight away,” the Recorder of Croydon Warwick McKinnon told the first-time offender.

“It was an unauthorised loan and he has paid the money back. He always intended to pay the money back.

“You were a man of good character and you have lost that good character through your utter stupidity by helping yourself to a substantial sum of money,” added the Judge.

“It was utterly dishonest and a serious breach of trust.”

Singh pleaded guilty at Croydon Crown Court that between September 1 and October 31, 2009 he falsified a Balance Trading Statement, falsifying an inflated cash balance of £25,000.

Prosecutor Mr. Lawrence Henderson told the court Singh took over the sub-Post Office in April, 2009 and an audit in May, last year revealed the shortfall.

When quizzed Singh immediately wrote two post-dates cheques for £20,000 and £18,000 to cover all potential losses, including errors and omissions.

“The postmaster is required to keep a note of the cash available and this count is reflective of Singh’s taking of twenty-five thousand pounds and altering a daily cash balance sheet,” said Mr. Henderson.

“He fully admitted his role at the outset. He said he had borrowed some money to take this business on and was repaying.

“Pressure was brought to bear and he succumbed to this pressure.

“It was taken in a carrier bag to a family friend who he owed the money,” added Mr. Henderson.

Singh was sentenced to eight weeks imprisonment, suspended for two years, ordered to perform 150 hours community service and pay £1,448 costs.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Shakey Drug Smuggler Caught With Cannabis-Stuffed Suitcase

A drug-smuggler, who trembled with nerves when stopped by Customs men walking through Gatwick Airport with £50,000 worth of cannabis in his suitcase, has been jailed for fifteen months.

Jobless block paver Daniel Girdler, 44, of Monks Way, Staines, Middlesex pleaded guilty at Croydon Crown court to importing 17.2 kilos of the drug on September 8, last year.

He left behind the suitcase he boarded with in Kingston, Jamaica, on the luggage carousel, instead collecting the drugs-filled luggage, then claimed he made an honest mistake.

Prosecutor Mr. Gavin Pattinger told the court Girdler was stopped in the ‘nothing to declare’ green channel as he walked through with a large suitcase.

“As they began checking the suitcase his hands began to shake and the Customs officers had to use bolt-cutters to open it.

“He claimed he picked up the wrong bag and made a mistake,” added Mr. Pattinger.

Girdler did not convince the Customs officials because the rogue cannabis-filled suitcase weighed 25 kilos and his only weighed 9 kilos.

Girdler, who lives on incapacity benefit and income support following quadruple by-pass surgery in 2008, eventually admitted travelling to the Caribbean with the intention of smuggling drugs.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Property Man Charged With £60m Drug Plot

A Birmingham lettings boss, accused of playing a key role in a £60m a year cannabis production plot, has appeared for the first time at City of London Magistrates’ Court.

Operation Opaque – led by the Middle Market Drug Partnership – which is made up of the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, the Metropolitan Police and City of London Police have charged twenty-two other defendants.

Andre Davies, 43, of Hathaway Road, Shirley, Solihull is charged with conspiring to produce cannabis on or before November 17, last year.

Police have identified fifty to sixty cannabis ‘farms’ capable of producing £1m on the drug annually, alleging some were let by Davies.

He was sent in custody to appear at the Old Bailey on March 18.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Masked Robbers Admit Christmas Raid

Five balaclava-clad robbers who raided a trendy Bromley boutique days before Christmas, snatching £10,000 worth of designer clothes, admitted their roles in the raid today.

The gang targeted Roma Boutique, Widmore Road, at 11am on December 21, last year and terrified staff and customers, escaping in a van stopped a few minutes later by police.

They are: Liam Riley, 23, from Finchley, North London; Kyle Tamaklo-Jones, 18, and Daryl Edwards, 23, both from Upper Sydenham; Nico Georgiou, 24 from Charlton and Jay-Jean Baptiste, 22, from Upper Norwood, South-East London.

“This is five-handed, mob-handed,” said the Recorder of Croydon Warwick McKinnon. “There is planning, they are wearing balaclavas and force is used to carry out the robbery on more than one person.

“It is obvious they were all in this together,” added the Judge, indicating his sentencing range was three to seven years’ imprisonment.

The court was shown CCTV footage from the shop (pictured) clearly showing the gang intimidating staff and customers and pushing and grabbing anyone who got in their way.

Police recovered all the clothing.

Owner Nick Khatibi, 38, said he had not seen anything like it in the 16 years he has run the boutique. “You just don’t expect something like this to happen here in the middle of the day.

“I already have good security and I used to have an entrance buzzer, but how much more can I spend? It is not an easy time for us.

“I really think that the police need to be more active to stop things like this happening.”

Mr. Khatibi claims the raiders snatched £1,000 from the till, which is denied by the defendants.

Police did not recover any money.

The gang were remanded in custody for sentencing on April 1.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Ex-Co. Boss Claims Ignorance Of Chinese Fakes

The alleged ringleader of a multi-million pound counterfeit-medicines plot - Europe's biggest ever - told a jury this week he did not know the drugs were Chinese-manufactured fakes.

Folkestone-born Peter Gillespie, 64, of Carey Close, Windsor, Berkshire - formerly of High Street, Bovingdon, Hemel Hempstead - is accused of being motivated by "pure greed" when selling three types fake life-saving medicines.

"I did not know these were counterfeit," he told the Croydon Crown Court jury. "I have been twenty-five years in the pharmaceutical business. I had never seen a counterfeit.

"Counterfeits are extremely rare in the pharmaceutical business, but like buses three come along here."

Medicine watchdogs ordered a Class One recall of all suspected drugs - taken by heart and cancer patients and the mentally ill - resulting in shelves cleared in pharmacies all over the country.

Charges were brought following a two-year investigation by the Medicines and Health Care products Regulatory Agency, part of the Department of Health into Consolidated Medical Supplies Ltd.

The company, of Unit 14, Sherrington Way, Lister Road, Industrial Estate, Basingstoke, had its Wholesale Dealers Licence revoked by the MHRA on January 8, 2008.

The prosecution claim banned company director Gillespie was secretly running the company, which rose from the ashes of Staines-based Discpharm, which the defendant had run.

"I only wanted to be a consultant, I could not be a director," Gillespie told the court. "I filed my own bankruptcy, my lawyers loaned me the money to file for bankruptcy."

Qualified chartered accountant Gillespie, who turned his back on a future in the City to bail-out a struggling pharmaceutical company, launched the re-branded Discpharm on August 1, 1986.

He admits he was excited by the vast potential profits available - as much as 100%-plus - by simply re-labelling cheaper European medicines for the U.K. market.

"When I started I only wanted to deal with large companies to ensure I would be paid and latterly only dealt with multi-national companies," Gillespie told the jury.

"Frankly, I was amazed at the profits. Some were over 100%. I thought this looked a very interesting business.

"I thought it was much too potentially profitable to ignore and for me it was easy to see where we can concentrate on the products where we were making a lot of money."

Medicines from France, Italy, Belgium and Spain were all re-packaged in English, first with the help of a team of middle-aged women Discpharm employed and then with more efficient machinery.

"They had been historically cheaper in Europe than the UK and we were working on that margin," explained Gillespie.

The company was one of the first to supply Lloyds Pharmacy when it only had twelve stores and continued supplying when it had over one thousand branches.

"We were selling tens and twenties of thousands, which allowed me to buy in large volumes from European wholesalers.

"Being an accountant I just wanted to make as much money out of it I could.

"We were making profits of over one million pounds a year. We were making so much money it was beyond my wildest dreams," added the defendant.

The charges relate to 'Casodex', used to treat advanced prostate cancer, 'Plavix', a drug prescribed to prevent blood clots and prevent heart attacks for angina patients and 'Zyprexa' a anti-psychotic drug prescribed to schizophrenic and bipolar patients.

The other four defendants are: Peter's brother Ian Gillespie, 58, of Marsh Baldon, Oxford; Ian Harding, 58, of Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire; James Quinn, 69, of Virginia Water, Surrey and Richard Kemp, 61, of Flint Mountain, Clwyd.

All five have pleaded not guilty that between January 1, 2006 and June 30, 2007, they conspired together and with others to defraud pharmaceutical wholesalers, pharmacists, the public and holders of Intellectual Property Rights in pharmaceuticals by dishonestly distributing for gain counterfeit medicines.

They also deny two counts each of selling or supplying the three drugs without authorisation and selling or supplying counterfeit goods, namely the three medicines, between January 1, 2006 and June 30, 2007.

Peter Gillespie alone denies one count of breaching a company director disqualification order between July, 2005 and June, 2007, following his bankruptcy.

The drugs were manufactured by the notorious Chinese pharmaceutical counterfeiter Lu Xu aka Kevin Xu, currently serving a prison sentence for a similar scam in the United States.

His bogus drugs were imported via Singapore and Belgium before being ferried and driven into the U.K and distributed by the five defendants, allege the prosecution.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Dope Nicks Bank Cash And Leaves Passport Behind

Dopey thief Colwyn Eastman was easy to catch after snatching £1,250 from a bank - he left his passport on the counter.

The 30 year-old was queuing in the Halifax, George Street, Croydon (pictured) when a cashier suddenly slipped and fell off her chair.

Eastman quickly took his chance to dive over the counter and grab the cash before fleeing the branch.

Unfortunately for him he left his passport behind - which he brought for identification purposes- and went on the run after realising police were on his tail.

A month later Eastman, of Horley, Surrey, handed himself into police on February 7 and was sentenced to four months imprisonment by Croydon Magistrates' Court after pleading guilty to theft.

A police spokesman said: "Eastman took the opportunity to steal the money when the cashier had tripped over, but made our job of identifying him very easy by leaving his passport in the bank."

Friday, 18 February 2011

Ex-Screw Back Behind Bars

An ex-prison officer is starting an eleven-year Busman’s Holiday after being caged for having sex with his former girlfriend’s vulnerable daughter, who has learning difficulties.

Nigerian-born Isaac Sunday Sampson, 38, (pictured) of Florence Road, Feltham, Middlesex took advantage of the 20 year-old woman on multiple occasions.

He was arrested at Heathrow Airport after fleeing home and will be placed on the Sex Offenders Register for life, following his conviction by an Isleworth Crown Court jury on three counts of sexual activity.

Detective Sergeant Katie Lilburn, formally of the Metropolitan Police Service’s Sapphire unit, said: ”For over a year, Isaac Sampson used his position as a trusted family friend to abuse an extremely vulnerable young woman.

“Today I would like to pay tribute to the immense courage of the victim who has given evidence against this man.

“We take all allegations of rape and sexual assault extremely seriously, and I would also like to take this opportunity to appeal to any further victims of Isaac Sampson, or any rape and sexual assault, to contact the police.

“All calls will be treated confidentially.”

The court heard that Sampson had been in a close relationship with the victim’s mother for several a years.

After this relationship ended he instigated a sexual relationship with the woman’s daughter at his home address, and at a Hounslow park.

December 28, 2008 the victim’s mother called police to report the incidents and Sampson was arrested on April 7, 2009 and charged on July 9.

A warrant was issued for his arrest when he dodged attending his trial and he was arrested on November 16 when he returned from Nigeria.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Date-Rapist Who Attacked Drunken Women Caged For Fifteen Years

A serial date-rapist, who picked-up two young drunken women in a nightclub and in the street, attacking them after persuading them to return to his Brighton flat, has been locked-up for fifteen years.

Patrick Mark Geary, 39, (pictured) of Warwick Mount, Montague Street, claimed both women were consensual partners – describing one as a “She-Wolf” – as he tried to dodge justice.

Judge Austin Issard-Davies sentenced him at Inner London Crown Court yesterday after he was convicted at a Hove Crown Court trial.

Police believe that he may be responsible for other sexual assaults and are appealing for any other victims to come forward.

His first victim, a 21-year-old local woman, reported Geary to the police in February 2007 after she met the defendant in a nightclub and went to his flat with a friend.

She passed out in an armchair, but could not be roused to go home by her friend and woke to find Geary trying to rape her.

She kicked him away and fled the flat, reporting the incident immediately to local police.

Geary was arrested and denied attempted rape, but due to the lack of witness evidence he was not charged and was released pending further enquiries.

The second victim, a 23-year-old woman, was approached by Geary as she sat on a street in Kemp Town after leaving a barbeque drunk on Saturday, June 6, 2009.

He took her back to his flat and gave her a cup of tea.

The victim says her memory then went blank and the next thing she remembers is Geary raping her twice.

She fled his flat and reported the matter to police.

Geary was arrested after being identified by his DNA.

While on bail, police reopened the 2007 rape allegation and the Crown Prosecution Service reviewed both cases and he was charged with both attacks.

Detective Constable Tim Craig of Brighton CID said: “It took great courage and bravery for both victims to tell the police what happened.

“Both have shown an amazing strength of character by coming to court and giving evidence about the monstrosities that happened to them.

“There is no doubt in my mind that locking up Patrick Geary will make the streets safer for everyone in Kemp Town and I am grateful to the people who assisted in this to ensure that he is no longer a danger to the public.”