Fraudsters jailed for conning West Sussex victims out of £310,000

Martin Jones

Martin Jones

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A gang of fraudsters who conned victims in West Sussex out of thousands of pounds have been jailed for a combined 18 years.

The group of ten people targeted 34 vulnerable residents including those living in Crawley, Burgess Hill, Upper Beeding and Steyning.

Paul Bryson

Paul Bryson

In total, they claimed more than £310,000.

They all pleaded guilty to, or were found guilty of, a variety of fraud and money laundering offences, and were sentenced at Lewes Crown Court on Friday (January 8).

Lead investigator detective constable Matt Wilson, from South East Regional Organised Crime Unit’s (SEROCU) regional fraud team, said: “Friday’s sentences reflect the nature of the offences this sophisticated network took part in by intentionally targeting the most vulnerable people.

“This should act as a deterrent to anyone else tempted to earn some extra money by turning a blind eye to these crimes, we will investigate and bring them before the court.”

SEROCU investigated incidents between October 2013 and September 2014 where victims were told their neighbours’ home had been flooded with raw sewage originating from under their property.

The victims were told that they needed to hire specialist equipment to resolve the issue and to pay a deposit which would then be refunded.

Daryl Hayley, 23, of Beeches Way, Faygate, received a six months’ suspended sentence and 80 hours unpaid labour for one count of conspiracy to launder the proceeds of crime.

Paul Bryson, 24, of Old Farm Close, Haywards Heath, was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for one count of conspiracy to launder the proceeds of crime.

Alfie Robinson, 23, of Chanctonbury Road, Burgess Hill, was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment for one count of conspiracy to launder the proceeds of crime and six months’ imprisonment for breach of a suspended sentences, to run consecutively.

Martin Jones, 26, of Newbury Road, Crawley, was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment for one count of conspiracy to launder the proceeds of crime and six months’ imprisonment for breach of a suspended sentences, to run consecutively.

George Wickens Junior, 24, of Iveagh Crescent, Newhaven, was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment for one count of conspiracy to commit fraud and six years’ imprisonment for one count of conspiracy to launder the proceeds of crime, to run concurrently.

George Wickens, 52, of Batts Bridge Road, Maresfield, was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment for one count of conspiracy to commit fraud.

James Cavanagh, 25, of Parklands, Maresfield, was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for one count of conspiracy to commit fraud and 30 months’ imprisonment for one count of conspiracy to launder the proceeds of crime, to run concurrently. He was also sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment for money laundering, to run consecutively.

Lee Farrington, 22, of Churchill Road, Lewes, was sentenced to 14 months’ imprisonment for one count of conspiracy to launder the proceeds of crime and 14 months’ imprisonment for a second count of conspiracy to launder the proceeds of crime, to run concurrently.

Martin Suckling, 52, of Churchill Road, Smallfield, was sentenced to two years for each of the three counts of acquiring criminal property, to run concurrently.

Angelia Wickens, 31, of Parklands, Maresfield, received a six months suspended sentence for one count of conspiracy to launder the proceeds of crime.

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