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The Crown Prosecution Service is the government department responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales.

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Man and wife sentenced following the sale of fraudulent bomb detectors

03/10/2014

Samuel and Joan Tree, from Dunstable, have today been sentenced at Kingston Crown Court, following a trial at the Central Criminal Court, for an offence contrary to section 7 of the Fraud Act 2006. Samuel Tree has been sentenced to three and a half years and Joan Tree has been handed a two year suspended sentence with 300 hours community service. This is the last of four trials which relate to sales of fraudulent bomb detectors.

Elspeth Pringle, specialist prosecutor at the CPS, said, "The deception undertaken by Samuel and Joan Tree is staggering - for many years they sold a product made in a shed in their back garden which, they claimed, could detect drugs, explosives and other substances. They even claimed it was capable of finding missing children. All of these claims were false; however Samuel Tree used whatever tactics he could to persuade his clients otherwise, resulting in the sale of these devices for hundreds and sometimes thousands of pounds when in reality they cost little more than a few pounds to make.

"The severity of this deception is underlined by the fact that the Trees sold these devices, which were to be used in dangerous, high-pressure and hazardous situations, knowing that they would provide no benefit or security for the men and women using them. When in its essence, the Alpha 6 device sold and created by Samuel and Joan tree was nothing more than a plastic box with antennae on the top and some pieces of paper inside, they put many lives at risk for the sake of making a profit."

This sentencing marks the end of the four trials which were brought against six people accused of selling fake bomb detectors.

Charge information:

Samuel Tree

Convicted of: Making an article for use in the course of a fraud, namely that between 14th January 2007 and 12th July 2012 at 15 Houghton Road, Dunstable made an article, namely an Alpha 6 device, knowing that it was designed or adapted for use in the course of or in connection with fraud or intending it to be used to commit, or to assist in the commission of, fraud. 
Contrary to section 7(1) of the Fraud Act 2006

Joan Tree

Convicted of: Making an article for use in the course of a fraud, namely that between 14th January 2007 and 12th July 2012 at 15 Houghton Road, Dunstable made an article, namely an Alpha 6 device, knowing that it was designed or adapted for use in the course of or in connection with fraud or intending it to be used to commit, or to assist in the commission of, fraud. 
Contrary to section 7(1) of the Fraud Act 2006

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  2. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are three national casework divisions: Specialist Fraud (formerly Central Fraud and Welfare, Rural & Health Divisions), Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. CPS Direct is a 'virtual' 14th Area which provides charging decisions to all police forces and other investigators across England and Wales - it operates twenty-four hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
  3. At 31 March 2014 we employed a workforce of approximately 6237 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2226 prosecutors and 3629 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website:  www.cps.gov.uk.
  4. The CPS, together with ACPO and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media. This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests. Read the Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media.