Serial fraudster sentenced over Christmas trees and turkeys scams


Serial fraudster David Osborne has been sentenced to three years and two months in jail at Southend Crown Court today for fraud by false representation. CPS East of England Senior District Crown Prosecutor Punam Malhan said he deliberately ordered goods – including 900 Christmas trees and 17 turkeys and chickens – knowing he had no money to pay for them.

Ms Malhan said: "David Osborne contacted a number of firms in this country and abroad to order goods knowing that the cheques he was writing would not be honoured, either because the bank accounts had no money in them, or had been closed.

"In November last year he ordered 900 Christmas trees from Holland worth £15,000 but when the victim tried to cash the cheque they were told the account was closed. They tried to contact Mr Osborne but without success.

"This scenario was repeated more than half a dozen times in the last 15 months with various businesses including a petrol station, plant nurseries, a firm selling fireworks, and a poultry firm where he ordered 17 turkeys and chickens in December 2013. It is estimated he has had around £40,000 worth of goods.

"By his actions Mr Osborne has not only prevented these firms from making an honest living but has struck them a double blow: they have lost their goods and are also out of pocket, some of them to the value of many thousands of pounds.

"We hope the punishment today sends a warning to all those who think it is easy go around buying goods by bouncing cheques - you will face a prison sentence if you do."