Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Workmate Killed During Boozy Wages Row

A garage worker, who killed a fellow-employee in an alcohol-fuelled rage during a wages row, has been jailed for seven years.

Ukraine-born Pavel Dunanov, 31, (pictured) of Spur Road, Isleworth inflicted fatal blunt force injuries to the head of Polish 29 year-old Piotr Maculewicz.

He was convicted at the Old Bailey of the manslaughter of Mr. Maculewicz, who he killed at the garage in Sulgrave Gardens, Sulgrave Road, Hammersmith.

The pair had been drinking whiskey and coke and the row began when window fitter Mr. Maculewicz began quizzing the defendant as to why he earned more money than he did.

Detective Inspector John Smith, of the Homicide and Serious Crime Command, said: “Mr. Maculewicz was killed by a work colleague at the construction garage they worked at, following a violent alcohol fuelled argument.

“The evidence which was bought before the court against Dunanov was overwhelming, and I am pleased that he has been held to account for his terrible actions.”

During the two week trial the court heard that at a 7:15pm on March 11, last year police were called to a man found unconscious in the forecourt area of a garage.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

A post-mortem at Fulham Mortuary on March 13 did not establish a formal cause of death, however further examinations indicated Mr. Maculewicz had suffered a number of blunt force trauma injuries to the head.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Widow Pocketed Over £50K In Late Husband's Benefits

A widow stole over £50,000 from Croydon Council by continuing to pocket her husband's benefit payments two years after his death.

Part-time carer Monica Owusu, 50, (pictured) of Oval Road, Croydon received £1895 every month into their joint-account, but did not tell the council her husband had died.

“You withdrew the money and used it for your financial commitments, knowing it did not belong to you and should have been returned to the local authority,” Recorder Ian Bourne QC told her today.

She pleaded guilty to stealing £52,122 from the London Borough of Croydon between September 1, 2007 and May 18, 2010.

The family home, which she inherited from her late husband, will now be sold to repay the debt.

Owusu's husband received the benefit for home care from September, 2004, but passed away three years later.

“He had required full-time care and was paralysed,” prosecutor Francesca Levett told Croydon Crown Court. “Monica Owusu was in charge of his finances.

“She informed their occupational therapist when her husband died, but this information did not reach the relevant department and direct payments continued to be made.

“The account continued receiving the payments for months, but it was not until August Mrs Owusu accessed the account and saw the large sum of over twenty thousand pounds.

“That's when, the prosecution say, she became dishonest and withdrew large sums without notifying the local authority.”

Eventually Croydon council stopped the payments and interviewed the defendant.

“She said she used it to pay bills and her mortgage and said she did not know why she did not tell theb local authority.

“All the money was withdrawn. Nothing was left in the bank acount.”

Owusu agreed to repay the council at the rate of £150 per month, but stopped after nine payments.

Owusu's lawyer Mr. Kwame Inyund said: “To her eternal regret she took advantage of the situation with the money she was not expecting.

“There is no evidence of a lavish lifestyle or money taken out of pure greed.

“It is her intention to make good what is owed to the local authority out of the sale of the property.”

Recorder Bourne told the first-time offender: “It is obvious to everyone that you did not set out to steal such a large amount of money from the local authority.

“It was inevitable that you would have been caught one day.”

Owusu was sentenced to thirty weeks imprisonment, suspended for twelve months, and ordered to complete 80 hours community service.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Hotel Receptionist Facing Life Imprisonment For Deadly Gay Obsession

A gay hotel receptionist repeatedly stabbed two work colleagues to death after developing a deadly obsession with one of them.

Attila Ban, 32, (pictured) of New Road, Harlington, West London wanted a sexual relationship with Tibor Vass, 20, and murdered him and Alice Adams, 20, in a jealous rage.

He was convicted at the Old Bailey of murdering both of them in a flat on the grounds of the Radisson Edwardian Hotel, Bath Road and will be sentenced on August 17.

Detective Inspector John Finch of the Homicide and Serious Crime Command said: “Attila Ban's profound obsession for Tibor Vass drove him to commit a disturbing and frenzied attack.

Ban manipulated Mr. Vass into believing that their friendship was genuine, however he exploited this closeness to kill him and his friend Miss Adams, who was simply caught up in events.

"The court has been presented with an overwhelming amount of evidence ensuring Ban's conviction for his utterly evil actions.

"I would like to pay tribute to the friends and family of Mr. Vass and Miss Adams, who have shown immense dignity, strength and courage throughout this investigation, and have been subjected to hearing the most dreadful things about how their loved ones died.

"The Met remains committed to bringing justice to families whose loved ones have been taken from them in such a senseless way.

“Lastly I would like to thank the entire prosecution team who have worked hard to present such a compelling case against this evil killer.”

During the three week-trial, the court heard how Miss Adams, Mr. Vass, and Ban, who were all receptionists, formed friendships through working together.

After their shifts on the evening of Tuesday August 9, last year Miss Adams and two colleagues, joined Mr. Vass and his room-mate Ban at their one bedroom flat in the hotel grounds, for some drinks.

After a short time, the two colleagues left the flat leaving Ban, Mr. Vass and Miss Adams in the flat together.

This was the last sighting of them alive.

The next day all three receptionists were due to begin an afternoon shift at 2.00pm, however none of them turned up for work.

Officers and paramedics attended and discovered the bodies of Miss Adams and Mr. Vass at the premises.

Both had been stabbed a number of times and they were pronounced dead at the scene.

Officers also seized a number of bloodstained cook’s knives.

Post-mortem examinations gave cause of death for both as multiple stab wounds.

During the police search of the flat Ban was hiding in the base of the bed, where he remained undetected, even updating his Facebook page.

Hours after the killings he wrote that he 'wanted to wake up from this nightmare', and the manhunt for him intensified.

Ban was eventually located by officers in the hotel grounds on August, 12 and immediately arrested.

He remained silent throughout his time with police and was later charged.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Car Trouble Leads To Deadly Gang Ambush

A second-hand car dealer is beginning a life sentence after ambushing a rival in a busy bookmaker's with seven accomplices and stabbing the victim to death.

Dagazau Ali, 23, (pictured) of Aylesbury House, Friary Estate, Peckham was involved in an ongoing dispute with 22 year-old Jerry Iyiku over the repair and sale of vehicles locally.

He was convicted at the Old Bailey of murdering Jerry in the Old Kent Road bookie's on July 19, last year and must serve a minimum of twenty-five years.

The victim was in the bookmaker's with a friend at 7.45pm when eight men, including Ali, rushed in and surrounded and attacked him in a corner at the rear of the premises.

Jerry was repeatedly kicked, punched and stabbed and the attackers fled the scene as he collapsed to the floor.

The London Ambulance Service attended, but sadly he died at the scene.

A post-mortem examination at Greenwich Mortuary on July 20 gave the cause of death as a haemorrhage resulting from a stab wound to the chest.

Detectives launched a murder investigation which established that Jerry had been in a dispute with Ali over the ownership and sale of cars.

The catalyst for the murder was an argument that took place on May 16 at a car repair premises just off the Old Kent Road, which resulted in Jerry taking Ali's car.

On July 23 Ali was arrested outside his home address and subsequently charged with murder.

Detective Inspector Richard Beadle, from the Homicide and Serious Crime Command, said: "The fatal attack on Jerry Iyiku is one of the most cowardly incidents I have come across.

"As is so common in murder investigations, Jerry has lost his life over petty rivalry.

"It is immensely worrying that young men in London feel they can conduct themselves in this way without fear, or even consideration, of the consequences.

"Fortunately this proved not to be the case and Ali has been rightly convicted."

Olarenwaje Akanbi, 18, and Olamide Akanbi, 19, of Bird In Bush Road, Peckham and a 17-year old youth were all found not guilty.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Unmasked Paedo Loses Job And Fiance

A paedophile, who split from his shocked fiance, after specialist police raided their home and confiscated a computer containing over 1,000 sick images of children, dodged jail today.

Lee Taylor, 35, initially claimed he knew nothing about the sordid online collection or the username 'Schoolgirl Beth' but eventually confessed he had been hoarding the disturbing images for two years.

"This is the kind of case the public find disgusting and unacceptable," the Recorder of Croydon Warwick McKinnon told the shame-faced first-time offender.

"Given your obvious addiction to viewing this disgusting material I have to take the long-term view.

"You have admitted you have been engaging in this sort of conduct for two years and as a result you have lost your job and will move out of the home you shared with your fiance."

Taylor pleaded guilty at Croydon Crown Court (pictured) to ten counts relating to 1,030 stills and 21 videos of level one to five - the most serious category, which depicts the most extreme sexual abuse of children.

On June 14, last year, officers from the Metropolitan Police's Paedophile Unit, armed with a search warrant, visited the absent Taylor's home and were met by his fiance.

The defendant was informed and hurried home from work, telling police he did not know how the illegal images were downloaded onto his computer.

Judge McKinnon placed Taylor on a three-year community order, with three years supervision and participation on the Thames Valley sex offender group work programme.

"This is ingrained conduct of a highly-addictive kind," added the judge, ordering Taylor to sign the sex offenders register for five years and making a five-year Sex Offenders Prevention Order, which limits his contact with children aged under sixteen.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Bogus Organiser Jailed For Olympic-Sized Scam

A heartless conman, who destroyed the Olympic dreams of young entertainers, is starting a two-year prison sentence.

Stephen Moonesamy, 35, (pictured) of Lowlands Close, Northampton claimed he could guarantee young dancers sought-after roles in the games’ closing ceremony.

Northampton Crown Court heard the defendant, who pleaded guilty to eight counts of fraud by false representation, defrauded children, dance schools and potential sponsors.

Officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Podium, supported by Northamptonshire Police, began an investigation into a fraudulent offer to dance schools in the Northamptonshire area for their pupils to participate in the 2012 closing ceremony.

Officers also investigated approaches to a number of companies across the UK to provide sponsorship.

The investigation was started after a referral was made to the police by the Olympic organisers, LOCOG, who confirmed that the company run by Moonesamy was not in any way associated with the Olympic or Paralympic Games.

Moonesamy approached three dance schools in the guise of ‘The Red, White and Blue Project’, claiming that he was recruiting young people, between the ages of 9 and 18 years, to dance at the closing ceremony.

He went on to hold a presentation at the Holiday Inn hotel in Northampton on March 11, where he described in great detail the event that the dancers would experience, including details of costumes, travel arrangements and the proposed security plan.

He also approached the local council for funding and obtained free food and drink from the Holiday Inn in Northampton at the above event.

A local printing company supplied merchandise to Moonesamy and a number of clothing companies were approached with requests for kit.

Detective Superintendent Nick Downing, of Operation Podium, said: “Stephen Moonesamy is an individual who callously deceived around seventy-five youngsters from the Northampton dance community, promising them a place performing at the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games.

“We are still are unclear what his ultimate motive was, as the financial gain was minimal.

“Children as young as nine were left devastated by the actions of this man, whose fraudulent plan could never succeed.

“We have worked closely with officers from Northamptonshire Police and the dance schools to provide support to the dancers and their families.”

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Alleged Drug Dealer Accused Of Gunpoint Graveyard Rape

A drug-dealer lured a vulnerable addict to a dark graveyard and raped her at gunpoint, a jury were told yesterday.

Morgan Brooks, 26, of the YMCA hostel, Lansdowne Road, Croydon convinced his terrified victim the gun-shaped cigarette lighter was a genuine firearm and held it to her head throughout the ordeal.

"He preyed upon her vulnerability, he lured her to a graveyard and subjected her to a degrading attack to satisfy his own sense of power and sexual gratification," prosecutor Miss Hanna Llewellyn-Waters told Croydon Crown Court.

Brooks (pictured) has pleaded not guilty to raping the young woman at Croydon Parish Church, Church Street on January 22, 2010 and possessing an imitation firearm, with intent to commit an indictable offence, namely rape.

The pair had met ten days earlier and Brooks - who identified himself only as AJ - twice sold her small amounts of heroin and crack cocaine, the court was told.

"She was or is a drug addict and used heroin and crack, but she has sought help in the past and is prescribed methadone," explained Miss Llewellyn-Waters.

The victim agreed to meet Brooks in Croydon after he offered her a free "tester" - drugs he wanted to asses the purity of.

It was 7pm and dark as the defendant instructed her to walk to, where the only lighting was a torch he was carrying.

"She did not want to go in, but he said he was not going to give her drugs in the street," said the prosecutor.

"He produced what appeared to be a gun and she believed it was a genuine firearm and he put it to her head."

The young woman was then forced to the ground and raped, the jury were told.

"She cried all the way through the incident. She did not want to do it, she was extremely scared and all the time the firearm was pressed to the side of her head.

"She described that it made her feel sick and violated.

"He hit her on the back of the head, possibly with his fist or the imitation firearm and threatened her that if she told anyone he would shoot her in the head."

DNA evidence proves the chances of anyone else having sexual contact with the victim are a billion to one and police found the cigarette-lighter gun in Brooks' room.

Trial continues……….

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Bosh Brothers Beat-Up Car Dealer, Jury Told

Two brothers attacked a second-hand car dealer and his assistant with metal bars, after claiming a vehicle he sold was unroadworthy, a jury were told today.

After a series of angry text messages exchanged between the dealer and one of the brothers they arrived at his car lot to 'sort him out' Croydon Crown Court heard.

Peter Luke, 50,(pic.r.) of Elmlea Drive, Hayes and Merril Luke, 52,(pic.l.) of Lady Margaret Road, Southall deny the charges.

They have both pleaded not guilty to assaulting Sohil Nasarzadeh and Patryk Tokarek, causing them actual bodily harm, in Red House Industrial Estate, Redhouse Road, Croydon on August 22, last year.

They both also deny possessing a metal pole each as an offensive weapon and Peter alone denies possessing a heavy chain as an offensive weapon.

Trouble started after Peter bought a Chrysler Voyager from Mr. Nasarzadeh – nicknamed 'Sam' – and complained the battery was flat as well as reporting other faults.

“Peter maintains the car was in unroadworthy condition and reported the problems to Sam who tried to sort them out,” prosecutor Mr. Jonathan Edwards told the court.

“Peter became angry and in text messages was threatening to sort Sam out and these ended with Mr. Nasarzadeh telling him to: 'F*** off.'

“The brothers visited the car lot and Peter was worked up and angry and his grievance with Sam was obvious.

“He was shouting in his face, so close he was spitting in Sam's face.”

Peter, the jury were told, shouted at Mr. Nasarzadeh: “Don't talk to me like that you foreign c***.”

Mr. Edwards added: “Sam tried to call the police and Peter tried to grab the phone and then he tried to grab the keys from out of Sam's car.

“Merril took a metal bar from inside his trousers and went towards Sam, but his employee Patryk stood in the way and he was attacked by both defendants and Peter was also armed with a metal bar.

“Merril went to attack Sam by hitting him on the head with the metal bar, but he blocked him with his arms so Merril resumed his attack on Patryk.”

Eventually police arrived and arrested both brothers. “Both complainants suffered cuts and bruises and Sam's blood waas found on one of the bars.”

When searched by officers a chain was recovered from Peter Luke's pocket.

Both brothers were picked-out on an identity parade by the complainants.

When quizzed, Peter Luke complained the car he bought was unroadworthy and the alleged weapons were not to be used, but merely act as a “deterrent.”

He denied assaulting the two men, claiming he acted in self-defence. His brother Merril did not answer any questions.

Trial continues........

Monday, 23 July 2012

Mugging Victim Dies Five Days After £100 Cash Snatch

Police are hunting the killer of a Paddington man, who died five days after he was violently mugged for £100 he had just withdrawn from a cashpoint.

Michael Walser, 45, (pictured) was found dead at his flat in Gloucester Terrace on June 24 - a post-mortem confirmed the cause of death as a head injury.

On June 19 he was pushed to the ground, hitting his head, by a robber who approached him from behind in Church Street, St. John’s Wood at 10.30pm – moments after withdrawing the cash.

The only description of the suspect is that he is a white male.

An incident room has opened at Hendon under Acting Detective Chief Inspector Andy Manning who said: “This was an unprovoked, senseless attack on an innocent man.

“I appeal to anyone with information that may assist police, or who knew Mr Walser, to contact the incident room.”

Anyone with information should call the incident room on 020 8358 0300. If you wish to remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

On June 28 a 26-year-old man was arrested in connection with the enquiry and taken to a west London police station.

He was bailed pending further enquiries.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

£20K Reward For Capture Of Masked Killers

A £20,000 reward is now up for grabs to shop the masked killers of a Thornton Heath man – shot when three intruders burst into his home a year ago.

Carlton Ned, 41, (pictured) suffered a fatal shot to the chest at the address in Langdale Road in the early hours of July 1, last year.

He died at the scene, but police believe he was not the killers’ intended target.

The suspects, who were armed and had their faces covered, entered the house and fired a number of shots.

Witnesses have described seeing the suspects flee in a silver Ford Fiesta car, which travelled along Langdale Road towards London Road.

Detective Chief Inspector John Crossley of Operation Trident – which investigates violent black-on-black crime - said: “We need anyone who saw a silver vehicle travelling in Langdale Road or London Road, or has any information about this car to come forward.

“It is essential we trace the vehicle as soon as possible.
We would like to appeal to anyone who has any information about this dreadful murder to come forward no matter how small you think it may be, your information could be vital and it is not too late.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the Incident Room on 020 8733 4212. If you wish to remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Nine men, aged between 20 and 26, have been arrested by police, but nobody has been charged.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Boozy Football Yobbo Old Enough To Know Better

A drunken Southampton football fan, who barged and shoved a policeman during last season’s away fixture at Crystal Palace, was hit with a court bill of nearly £1,000 last Thursday.

Gregory Brian Bailey, 49, of Drayton Close, Southampton pretended to faint when handcuffed at South London’s Selhurst Park (pictured) after also shouting a torrent of foul-mouthed abuse.

He was fined £250, with £620 costs for assaulting PC James Sears on April 9, fined £100 for being drunk and disorderly and ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge.

Bailey denied the charges, but was convicted after the officer told Croydon Magistrates’ Court: “He dropped his right shoulder into me and nearly tipped me over a low wall into the Southampton fans.

“He left and started to walk down a twenty foot tunnel under the stand, but turned, looked at me and said: ‘Fuck you’ and waved two fingers in my direction.

“I thought: ‘I’m not having that’ and walked after him and tapped him on the shoulder.

“My intention was to tell him to calm down and tell him he was out of order. I did not want to arrest anyone.

“He looked up at me, said: ‘Fuck you’ and turned away and pushed me away with his arm.”

PC Sears told the court he believed the suspect now needed to be restrained and was concerned about the growing number of Southampton fans gathering under the stand at half-time.

“The man was drunk as well. He was a big man and I did not want him throwing his weight around.

“I placed one of his wrists in handcuffs and he did not like that at all and started struggling.

“A steward then came over and took hold of his other arm and when I handcuffed him he fell limp to the floor.

“We carried him outside and I was concerned he may be suffering a heart attack so I removed the handcuffs and he began flailing his arm about.

“I put the handcuffs back on and again he fell faint. He did not want to be handcuffed.”

The officer denied Bailey’s suggestion that he himself had caused injury to the defendant.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Restauranteur Finally Admits Laundering Corrupt Customer's Cash

A successful restauranteur yesterday admitted laundering over £1.5m in bribes paid to a Sainsbury's executive in return for a lucrative potato contract.

Christopher Diccon Wright, 50, (pic.top) of Blaise Farm, Tower Hill, Offham, West Malling is the co-owner of the The Swan restaurant, West Malling and The Swan at Shakespeare's Globe, Bankside.

"You should prepare yourself for a sentence of imprisonment," Croydon Crown Court Judge Nicholas Ainley told Wright, releasing him on £100,000 bail for sentencing on September 10.

He pleaded guilty to entering into a money laundering arrangement between February 1, 2007 and July 31, 2008 with John Maylam, 42, of Blakeny Close, Bearstead, Maidstone in relation to £1,583,957.

Ex-Sainsbury's buyer Maylam (pic.bottom) is serving a four-year prison sentence for corruptly receiving £4.9m from potato supplier Greenvale and laundered some of the bribes via Wright.

Wright's solicitors are currently holding £561,000 laundered by their client and another £99,000 is in one of the defendant's bank accounts.

The prosecution have applied for those sums to be returned to Sainsbury's.

Wright's QC Mark Ellison told the court: "We appreciate the seriousness of the offence, but we do ask for a report.

"He has heavy involvement in a restaurant business that is part and parcel of his involvement with John Maylam and is going to be very busy over the period of the Olympics.

"He is basically open twenty-four hours a day and they are running several venues and he really needs to be where he needs to be over the next four weeks."

Wright's personal assets have been restrained since May, 2008 and in 1991 at the Old Bailey he received four-and-a-half years for fraud.

"He want to sort out his personal assets before sentencing," added the QC, successful lifting the restraining order.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Train Tragedy: Two Teenagers Acquitted

Two alleged muggers, accused of chasing a victim onto railway tracks where he was fatally struck by a 100 mph express, were dramatically acquitted of manslaughter yesterday after the trial judge ruled the evidence was too weak.

Apprentice electrician Lewis Ghessen, 22, (pictured) had run into Harrow and Wealdstone station at 8.40pm and sprinted along the platform, telling the operator he feared for his life and was being pursued by "mad guys," Isleworth Crown Court was told.

Dominic Morris, 19, of Leavesden Road, Watford and a 16 year-old Harrow youth were found not guilty of manslaughter and attempting to rob Mr. Ghessen on September 25, last year on the direction of the Recorder of Kensington and Chelsea Judge Richard McGregor-Johnson.

A post mortem revealed the dead man had been drinking heavily that day and smoked cannabis. Traces of ecstasy and amphetamine were also found in his blood.

"An allegation of manslaughter is a serious allegation, but a charge in these circumstances is technical and difficult to prove" Judge McGregor-Johnson told the jurors.

"In my view the evidence of the prosecution does not reach the necessary level of a case to answer on either of these two counts and the defendants have to be found not guilty."

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Accountant Jailed For Fleecing Firm

A trusted accountant, who stole nearly £150,000 from a firm of chartered surveyors he "mercilessly exploited," was jailed of three years today.

Father-of-four Ian Lodwick, 55, of Station House, Askenham Road, Westcott, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire will now be pursued for the money he stole over four years under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

He was employed by Isleworth firm Michael Richards & Co. from 2000 until he left amicably in January 2010, but financial discrepancies were discovered by a new firm of accountants when they carried out an audit.

"He has just spent two weeks accusing the partners of telling a pack of lies. There is no remorse or regret at all," said Isleworth Crown Court (pictured) Judge Robin Johnson.

"The kindest thing to say is that he is in a state of irrational denial.

"They treated him as a colleague and friend and when he was caught he threw it all back in their faces."

Lodwick told the jury the partners knew he took the money as a pay rise, but agreed with him to keep it secret from other members of staff.

He was in full control of the company's banks accounts, knew all the online passwords and kept the firm's chequebook in his desk.

"It is you who has placed your family in this terrible position," Judge Johnson told the first-time offender. "Over four years of dishonesty you took nearly one hundred and fifty thousand pounds as a minimum.

"The case against you was overwhelming and the two partners in the company had placed complete trust in you and you mercilessly exploited that trust.

"You did all you could to cover your offending. This was theft by a person in breach of a high degree of trust.

"You have brought catastrophe on your own family and prison is a disaster for them and you."

Michael Richards & Co also pursued a successful civil claim against Lodwick and a charge has been placed on the family home, which has equity of £100,000.

"The Crown will initiate confiscation proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act," prosecutor Mr. Tyrone Silcott told the court.

Lodwick's lawyer Mr. Andrew Morris said: "He knows he is facing custody, having lost his good character.

"Up until now his character has never been questioned. He will never be allowed to work again in the profession he has been employed in almost his entire working life.

"He had led a law-abiding life and the shock of the prison door closing behind him will be dramatic for him."

The defendant also has credit card debts of £25,000, run up to support his family while he was not working.

"He had been taking high doses of anti-depressants and sometimes was unable to move all day," added Mr. Morris. "The money cannot be paid back because he does not have it."

Accountants Glazers completed an audit after the defendant's departure and after discovering a £43,000 shortfall invited Lodwick in to explain.

"He said in that meeting he had received unauthorised payments and that his wife was spending a lot of money and was suffering post-natal depression," explained Mr. Silcott.

Lodwick was found guilty of stealing £43,023; £11,975; £24,505; £11,748; £30,676 and £13,777 on various dates between April 1, 2006 and March 31, 2010.

He was also convicted of defrauding the company's partners out of fifteen cheques, totalling over £30,000 between April 1, 2006 and February 28, 2010.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Teen Stabbed One-Night-Stand To Death While On The Phone To His Ex

A merciless killer, who subjected a mum-of-three he picked-up in a pub to a “sustained and brutal attack” over five terrifying hours as she begged for her life, was caged today.

Reece Ludlow, 20, stabbed Louisa Brannan, 35, a total of twenty-five times with two kitchen knives and battered her about the head with a frying pan at his mother's flat.

Ludlow, of Oakwood Court, Benhill Wood Road, Sutton pleaded guilty halfway through his trial to murdering the Huddersfield woman, formerly of Water Street, Springwood.

Sentencing him to life imprisonment, with a 17-year minimum, Woolwich Crown Court Judge Nicholas Hilliard told the defendant: “Your victim was naked, defenceless and in unfamiliar surroundings when you made a sustained and brutal attack.

“She asked you to stop, but you did not. You cut her jugular vein with a knife and hit her with a frying pan.

“She did not die straight away and was at your mercy for five hours, naked and terrified, but you showed her no mercy.”

Ludlow, who was subject to a Youth Rehabilitation Order for two muggings and was 18 year-old at the time, claimed the victim insulted him, his family and ex-girlfriend in the bedroom, which “triggered” the attack.

However, this was rejected by the judge, who during the trial heard evidence from Ludlow's ex, Fon Promsan, 19, who was called several times by the defendant as Louisa was fighting for her life.

“You further indulged your feelings of pity in several phone conversations,” he added. “She was heard to scream and ask for help and you were heard to abuse her and tell her to get up.

“You had several hours to show her one ounce of compassion and you chose not to. You are extremely dangerous when thwarted.”

Louisa had just moved in with her father in Mitcham to support her dying sister, Kayleigh, 22, who had a brain tumour and met Ludlow for the first time at the local Kings Arms pub, on March 14, last year.

He was heard to describe her as “hot” and say: “I'd like to give her one.”

Louisa's eldest daughter Ebony, 16, suffered a stroke after hearing of her mother's murder and was confined to a wheelchair for some time, but struggled on crutches to give a tribute at the funeral.

She also leaves behind son Jack, 10, and a younger daughter Gemima.

“She was only thirty-five when she was unfortunate enough to cross your path and die at your hands,” Judge Hilliard told Ludlow, as over a dozen members's of Louisa's family packed the public gallery.

“She did not abuse your mother racially or otherwise or abuse your girlfriend. You invented that as something that could start to explain why you reacted with such extreme violence.

“You were an enthusiastic participant in sexual activity with Louisa Brennan,” added the judge. “You became angry when you did not receive the comfort from her that you sought.”

Louisa was later found by the emergency services dead in the bath of her date’s blood-splattered flat with multiple knife wounds.

Ludlow had originally denied murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility, but changed his plea after his psychiatrist decided he could no longer support such a defence.

He first called his ex, who had dumped him because of his violent tendencies, at 3am, confessing to the stabbing and saying: “She’s in the kitchen and there’s blood everywhere.”

Louisa was still fighting for her life during the phone calls and Ludlow’s ex heard her begging for help and saying: “I’m dying”.

There was blood all over the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom and officers seized a frying pan – which Ludlow had struck the victim with – which had traces of blood and hair and a bloody knife was found in the kitchen and another blade on the floor.

A pathologist confirmed the cause of death as multiple stab wounds and found evidence of a blow on the side of Louisa’s head.

Ludlow was arrested six days later, drunk on a train at Victoria Station, but refused to answer questions when quizzed by police.

In a moving victim impact statement Louisa's mother, Anita Brannan, described her daughter as a “kind, generous, loving, person” whose death had “ripped the family apart.”

Louisa had spent her final days at her father Dave's home in Mitcham. “The pain, anger and sorrow are eating him up every day,” the court heard.

“Every minute of every day we have to live with the horrific final moments of Louisa's life,” added her mother.

Prosecutor Mr. Adrian Derbyshire QC said: “The aggravating feature here is there must have been mental or physical suffering inflicted on the victim prior to her death.”

Ludlow's lawyer Mr. James Scobie QC told the court his client had behavioural difficulties since the age of five and found himself living alone as a teenager, drinking heavily and cutting himself.

Monday, 16 July 2012

EastEnders' Star's Cocaine Shame

Former EastEnders star Leanne Lakey - who played Belinda Peacock in the BBC soap - tested positive for cocaine after she was arrested on suspicion of stealing £6,500 from the pub who took her on as a manageress.

This fact was kept from the jury who tried and acquitted her last week - after she told them the missing cash was due to the pub's shambolic accounting practises rather than any dishonesty by her.

"The reasonable inference is this defendant stole the money to finance an expensive habit," prosecutor Mr. Rupert Kent told Kingston-upon-Thames Crown Court. "She tested positive at the police station after her arrest."

White powder was also found on an Oyster card and a CD case and Lakey's boyfriend was recently convicted of serious cocaine offences, but these facts were not revealed to the jury, along with her alleged confession to using the drug on the premises.

Lakey, 34, of Tindal Street, Chelmsford denied and was found not guilty of stealing the reduced figure of £3,894 from the Royal Standard pub, Ballantine Street, Wandsworth between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010.

"This defendant stole that amount of money," Mr. Kent told the jury. "However, you will be asked to consider whether this was through mismanagement.

"The prosecution case is the only conclusion is this defendant had her hand in the till. That is the explanation as to where all this money went."

Lakey, who was described by her boss Ian Harrison as a "resting actress" was given grace and favour accommodation above the pub, made a partner in the company and paid £250 per week wages.

"She was carefully trained as to how to manage the public house," explained Mr. Kent.

On June 22, 2010 her two bosses realised something was wrong. "They were unable to contact the defendant at the pub and found a number of problems."

An audit revealed an initial shortfall of £6,500.

Lakey eventually sat down with her bosses on August 7. "This defendant failed to account for the six and a half thousand pounds of missing money and she was dismissed from her employment."

Three days later she was arrested by police and declined to answer any questions.

Once expenses incurred by Lakey were taken into account the shortfall was reduced to £3,894. "The Crown's case is that this defendant stole this money," added Mr. Kent.