Crime doesn't pay

05/08/2009

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) yesterday succeeded in securing a four year custodial sentence for Nelson Richards aged 46 of Redruth, Cornwall for failure to pay the sum of £569,869 under the terms of a compensation order.

Along with three others, Richards was found guilty of conspiracy to obtain money from vulnerable persons by deception at Truro Crown Court in January 2006, having defrauded 22 elderly and vulnerable victims. He was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment but this was increased to 10 years by the Court of Appeal.

On 7 December 2006, Truro Crown Court ordered Richards to pay £569,869.35 as the amount by which he had been said to have benefited from his crimes. Cash and vehicles seized by the Police from Richards at the time of his arrest reduced the debt by £48,861.47.

Richards failed to pay the amount within 12 months. Following unsuccessful applications on his part to reduce the amount payable to the Court of Appeal and to the Crown Court, the North Somerset Magistrates' Court yesterday imposed the sentence of imprisonment in default of payment on the grounds that there had been culpable neglect in failing to pay. Richards will serve a further 1,460 days in prison.

The debt will remain payable following his release from prison.

At the same court the CPS also secured a prison sentence of 957 days upon Fairnetty Goodwin of Gloucester. Goodwin had failed to pay the sum of £466,985.39 outstanding under the terms of a confiscation order made by Gloucester Crown Court on 4th November 2008 for 7 offences of concealing criminal property.

Prior to her conviction, the Police had calculated that the total to which Goodwin had benefited from the crimes was over £1.6 million.

Despite Goodwin having paid almost half the sum due, the Magistrates found that she had failed to make sufficient and substantial efforts to sell a house, a Mercedes car, a Rolex watch and other jewellery and Royal Worcester china to a total value of over £378,000 since the order was made.

Adrian Foster, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS Gloucestershire said: "The additional sentencing in these cases shows that the CPS, the courts and the police are united in ensuring that we will robustly enforce orders of the court to recover criminal assets. It is important to point out that even after the additional prison sentences have been served, the debts will still be outstanding and action will continue until all the proceeds of crime have been repaid."

Ends

Notes For Editors

For further information, contact CPS South West Press Office on 0117 930 1343 or 0117 930 1344.

The Crown Prosecution Service is the independent authority responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales. It is responsible for:

  • Advising the police and reviewing the evidence on cases for possible prosecution
  • Deciding the charge where the decisions is to prosecute
  • Preparing cases for court
  • Presenting cases at court

The CPS consists of 42 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition there are four specialised national divisions: Organised Crime, Special Crime, Counter-Terrorism and the Fraud Prosecution Service. A telephone service, CPS Direct, provides out-of-hours advice and decisions to police officers across England and Wales. The CPS employs around 8,400 people and prosecuted 1,091,250 cases with an overall conviction rate of 85.1% in 2007-2008. Further information can be found on our website: www.cps.gov.uk

The CPS South West Group consists of the areas Avon and Somerset; Devon and Cornwall; and Gloucestershire

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. The Protocol is published on our website at:

http://www.cps.gov.uk/publications/agencies/mediaprotocol.html