March 7 2014 Latest news:
Christine Cunningham, court reporter
Saturday, September 15, 2012
A “Walter Mitty” type character who defrauded a company out of nearly £55,000 while claiming to be running a wind turbine business has been ordered to pay just a £1 as he has no assets.
Andrew Davidson, of Causeway Close, off Heigham Street, Norwich, was given a three month jail sentence suspended for 18 months, a six-month curfew and 240 hours unpaid work after pleading guilty to fraud at an earlier hearing at Norwich Crown Court.
There was a further hearing yesterday at the crown court under the Proceeds of Crime Act to confiscate any money or assets but despite Davidson obtaining a benefit of £54,672 from the fraud the court heard how he had used all the money to set up an office in Curtis Road, Norwich, and pay staff wages.
At the earlier sentencing hearing the court heard how the 65-year-old’s company, UK Maglev Wind Turbines Ltd, won a contract in summer 2009 to supply 65 eco-friendly hybrid street lights to Kovere Engery Ltd, a subsidiary of Kovere Energy Inc, based in Georgia, USA, despite the fact his company comprised of him operating from a website from his council flat.
In autumn 2009 Kovere Energy paid £54,672 into Davidson’s bank accounts, and he assured the company via e-mail and in person that the lights were being shipped.
But no lights were supplied, and the directors of Kovere Energy made a complaint of fraud to Norfolk police in 2010.
The court heard that the money handed over had been used by Davidson to set up an office in Curtis Road, which employed six staff and interns, and gave the impression of being a rapidly growing company.
At the hearing his barrister Michael Clare had described him as a “Walter Mitty” type character rather than a clinical fraudster.
Davidson has been given 28 days to pay the £1 and must serve seven days in jail if he fails to pay the money.