December 7 2013 Latest news:
Peter Walsh and Christine Cunningham
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Two brothers from Norfolk have been jailed for a total of more than 10 years after carrying out a range of scams totalling more than £82,000 at antique fairs across the country.
One of the people they duped was BBC antiques expert David Harper who appears on shows such as Cash in the Attic and Bargain Hunt and who was left more than £1,000 out of pocket after he purchased two Worcester and three Moorcroft vases from the conmen.
Desmond Askew, Stephen Bond, also known as Askew, and Kim Tyler appeared at Norwich Crown Court yesterday to be sentenced in relation to the antique scam.
Askew, 50, of Redfern Close, Dereham, previously pleaded guilty to five counts, including one of conspiracy to commit fraud which related to the antique scam which took place between July and October 2012. He also admitted two counts of fraud in relation to a separate matter.
Bond, 52, of Swaffham Road, Dereham, was convicted after a trial of five counts including conspiracy to commit fraud.
The court heard Bond previously pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud in relation to a separate matter.
Sentencing Bond to a total of six years and Askew to a total of four- and-a-half years, who were both said to have benefited by £82,628 from the antiques matter, Judge Nicholas Coleman said: “The three of you were engaged in going around antiques fairs around the country. You were depriving antique dealers of high value items by worthless cheques.”
He described Bond as a “Walter Mitty character” and said he was a “liar, cheat and deeply manipulative”.
Tyler, 53, of Waples Way, Dereham, who pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud was sentenced to 18 months, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to carry out 280 hours of unpaid work.
David Wilson, prosecuting, described the offence as a “confidence fraud” which had been “characterised by a degree of planning”.
The court heard that the defendants visited a number of antiques fairs across the country, including one at the Norfolk Showground on July 2012, where they bought a penknife.
Bond gave a false cheque for the knife and a vase he smashed on this stall by mistake.
Tyler was linked to the last transaction carried out by the fraudsters involving a Will Turner painting to the value of £7,750 on October 2012.
Adam Butler, for Bond, said it was “certainly not the most sophisticated of offences” with the cheques being used able to be traced back to them.
He said: “Effectively the defendants in this matter were guaranteed to be caught.”
Michael Clare, for Askew, said he was an “unintelligent man” and pointed to the “lack of sophistication” in the offences and said by using his own name and cheque book Askew’s “apprehension was inevitable”.
Will Carter, for Tyler, said his client was in a different position to his co-defendants and pleaded guilty on the basis of being involved in the transaction involving the Will Turner painting.