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Fraudster who sold counterfeit DVDs ordered to repay £400,000

A 37-year-old man from Thirsk has been given an 18 month suspended prison sentence after being found guilty of fraud.

Nigel Bennetto, who was sentenced at Teesside Crown Court on Monday 20 April 2015, was also subject to a Confiscation Order under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and was ordered to repay £464,838 or face a default prison term of up to three years in addition to his existing sentence.

Mr Bennetto was initially arrested in January 2013 by the North Yorkshire Police Financial Investigation Unit on suspicion of money laundering and offences under the Trade Marks Act 1994.

During a search of his home address, several thousand DVDs, all suspected of being counterfeit, were recovered. An investigator from FACT (Federation Against Copyright Theft) was present during the search and tested several of the DVDs, establishing that they were counterfeit goods.

It was found that Mr Bennetto had created seller accounts on Amazon using false company details in order to hide his identity from Amazon. In order to avoid giving his own telephone number, which would give away his identity,

Mr Bennetto admitted to hiring telephone lines from another company. This company rent out phone lines which can be transferred to a location of the customers choosing, therefore giving the outward appearance that a different number is being called.

Other steps to avoid detection by Amazon were also taken. The defendant used numerous computers and BT Home Hubs in order to create each seller account with a different IP address.

Between July 2012 and May 2013 Mr Bennetto set up and operated six Amazon seller accounts which were used to sell counterfeit DVDs imported from China.

At a previous Court appearance he pleaded guilty to Fraud by Failing to Disclose, contrary to Section 3 of the Fraud Act 2006.

Warning to cat owners after suspected poisonings

Police are urging cat owners in the Thirsk area to be vigilant after five cats died of suspected anti-freeze poisoning.

Credit: Press Association

North Yorkshire Police are jointly investigating the five incidents with the RSPCA, and have also issued advice to pet owners following the incidents, which all took place on the Hambleton estate in the town.

PC Clare Mayes, North Yorkshire Police Wildlife Crime Officer for the Thirsk area, said: “There is a possibility that anti-freeze poisoning was involved in these incidents.

"Anti-freeze poisoning is usually associated with pets licking anti-freeze drips or spills off the ground. For a cat, as little as a teaspoon can prove fatal. Such items should be disposed of in such a way that a cat cannot get to them. Any spills or drips should be cleaned up immediately, and any leaks in your car should be repaired."

Anyone who has any information about how the cats may have been poisoned is asked to contact North Yorkshire Police.

If your cat appears to be lethargic or unsteady on their feet, you need to seek urgent veterinary assistance. The sooner your pet receives treatment, the better their chances of survival. If left untreated, anti-freeze poisoning can cause pain, suffering, distress and ultimately death.

– PC Clare Mayes, North Yorkshire Police Wildlife Crime Officer

Tributes to Thirsk care home "murder victim" - devoted family man and champion leek grower

A photograph of David Paterson, the 81-year-old man allegedly murdered in a care home at Sowerby, Thirsk, has been released by his family.

David's family say he was a 'devoted family man' Credit: Family photo from the 1980s

David's family have also made an official statement

David lived in the Thirsk area all of his life and previously worked as a welder at Thircon in Thirsk for 30 years. He was a devoted family man who adored his nieces and nephews. He was devoted to his wife and cared for her when she became ill, up until her death in March 2014. They were a very private couple who idolized their family and enjoyed being a part of their local community.

David enjoyed writing poetry and had some of his poems published. He was a champion leek grower and also enjoyed quizzes and board games, anything that challenged his mind. He was an active member of his local church and enjoyed bowling until his health deteriorated and he was no longer fit enough.

We will remember David as a devoted husband and family man who enjoyed the simple pleasures in life.

– Family statement

A woman charged with Mr Paterson's murder made her first appearance at Teesside Crown Court today. Heather Davidson, 53, of Sowerby Road, Sowerby, appeared via a video link from prison. The charge was not put to her and there was no application for bail. There will be another hearing next month.

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Woman appears in court over murder of man in Thirsk care home

A woman has appeared in court accused of murdering a man at a care home.

Sowerby House care home

Heather Davidson, 53, appeared at Northallerton Magistrates' Court in connection to the death of David Paterson, 81. Mr Paterson was found dead at Sowerby House care home in Thirsk on Wednesday.

No cause of death has been given yet. Police have not confirmed the relationship between Davidson and Mr Paterson, only saying the defendant is an "associate" of the deceased.

Davidson, dressed in a grey sweatshirt and grey sweatpants, only spoke to confirm her name and address at the short hearing today.

She will next appear at Teeside Crown Court on 17 February.

Woman charged with murder of 81-year old due in court

A 53-year-old woman is due to appear at Northallerton Magistrates court this morning after being charged with the murder of a pensioner at a care home in Thirsk.

Police were called to Sowerby House care home in Sowerby on Wednesday afternoon after an 81-year-old man was found dead. The identity of the man has not been released by police.

Police activity seen near Sowerby House

Around half a mile away from Sowerby House care home, three police vans were seen parked in front of a row of terraced properties. Two forensic evidence officers in masks were seen entering one of the houses.

A police car was parked behind the terrace, which is on a busy, narrow main road. Neighbours said they did not know what had gone on. A builder said he had noticed a lot of police activity in the village yesterday.

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