Conman's latest £28,000 scam

A conman who once escaped from Norwich Prison using forged release papers has been jailed once more, this time for masterminding a £28,000 scam from his cell.

A conman who once escaped from Norwich Prison using forged release papers has been jailed once more, this time for masterminding a £28,000 scam from his cell.

David Aves, who went on the run after getting bogus papers faxed to the jail in 1995, sold five personalised car registrations to cemetery supervisor Darren Thompson after spotting a wanted advertisement in Exchange & Mart in October 2005.

At the time Aves had been serving a sentence at Hollesley Bay Prison, near Woodbridge, for other fraud offences and met up with his victim after being allowed out of jail to work at the Oxfam shop in Ipswich.

Aves, 49, of Bradfield St George, near Bury St Edmunds, appeared at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday for sentence after earlier admitting five offences of deception.

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Prosecutor Andrew Shaw said Aves, a car dealer, had contacted Mr Thompson in response to his advert appealing for registration plates bearing his initials, DPT.

Aves met Mr Thompson a number of times, accompanied by a second man.

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At the time of the deal Mr Thompson felt uneasy and noted the registration of Aves' van.

The five plates sold to Mr Thompson for £28,850 were DT22, DT7, DT9, DT11 and DPT7, but it later emerged that none of the registrations had been Aves' to sell. Four had never been issued by the DVLA, while DT7 was owned by someone else.

Aves claimed he had been innocently duped into acquiring the registrations and would now make efforts to recompense Mr Thompson, but that led to just £3,000 being handed over.

Mr Shaw said Mr Thompson handed police a letter that Aves had asked him to sign, agreeing to retract his complaint in return for regular reimbursement payments of £1,500.

“Having committed the offences Mr Aves went on to try to ensure that he would not be prosecuted,” said Mr Shaw.

The court heard details of Aves' previous convictions, including 26 court appearances for 173 offences of theft, deception and fraud between 1976 and 2006, one of the most recent being for a similar personalised registration scam. During that time Aves had committed offences using eight different aliases.

In 1998 Aves was jailed for four-and-a-half years after admitting masterminding a £311,000 agricultural machinery fraud from his cell in Blundeston Prison, plus other offences.

In mitigation, Denis Barry said: “Mr Aves has a very bad record indeed. He is now 49 years of age. He instructs me that he is currently enjoying the longest period out of prison that he has had since 1978.”

A pre-sentence probation report identified Aves as a "skilled deciever", but Mr Barry said: "There seems to be some evidence that we have reached the high water mark in terms of offending".

He said Aves was realising he could not continue offending and had arranged a loan with which he hoped to repay Mr Thompson.

Jailing Aves for two years, Judge Neil McKittrick told him: "People expect others to fair deal with them. They don't expect to come up against a rogue".

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