- 15 updates
A businessman who sold fake bomb detectors to Iraq and was jailed for ten years today, has been described as a "callous conman".
Speaking outside court, detective superintendent Nigel Rock of Avon and Somerset Police said: "The judge said [James] McCormick was a callous conman. And he practiced a callous con trick. He's developed, practiced, refined that con trick over 10 years.
"In fact, he's still maintaining that con trick that the device works. So, over the period of time he has developed and produced a convincing tale".
The conman who sold fake bomb detectors to Iraq was jailed for ten years today after a judge said he had blood on hands.
James McCormick, 57, showed no reaction as he was told his "callous confidence trick" was the worst fraud imaginable.
Old Bailey Judge Richard Hone said:
Conman James McCormick, who is estimated to have made £50 million from selling fake bomb detectors, was jailed for 10 years at the Old Bailey today.
A millionaire businessman will be sentenced today after being convicted of selling fake bomb detectors.James McCormick, 56, was found guilty at the Old Bailey last week of three counts of fraud after jurors heard the devices did not work as they were, in fact, based on a golf ball detector.
McCormick, of Langport, Somerset, made an estimated £50 million from sales of his three models to Iraq, Belgium and even the United Nations for use in Lebanon.
But, the court heard, the Advanced Selection Equipment devices had no scientific basis and were based on a £13 American novelty golf ball finder.
Police believe lives were put at risk as the hand-held devices were used at check-points to detect explosives.
Some of the detectors were sold for £27,000 each and McCormick is thought to have made about £37 million from sales to Iraq alone.
Businessman James McCormick has been found guilty of conning governments and armed forces into buying bomb detectors which turned out to be plastic fakes designed to find golf balls.
ITV News correspondent Emily Morgan reports on the "staggering audacity" of McCormick, who sold each device for thousands of pounds, but now faces a lengthy jail sentence.
A businessman convicted today of selling fake bomb detectors has been described as "a conman", according to Avon and Somerset Police.
Speaking outside court, detective superintendent Nigel Rock said:
A millionaire businessman, convicted of selling fake bomb detectors, told the court he sold his detectors to police, prison services, armies and border controls internationally.
James McCormick, 56, is thought to have sold the items for £27,000 each to the following countries:
- Hong Kong
Sentencing for James McCormick has been adjourned until next week and the judge did not give any indication at all of what sort of sentence he would pass down. He has been convicted of fraud though, which can carry a jail term of up to seven years.
When the verdict was read out, Mr McCormick simply shook his head and stared straight ahead. He has left the Old Bailey now on bail.
When he left, I asked him whether he still stood by what he claimed. He says he will be defiant until the end.
The prosecution said he was selling these devices knowing that they did not work. Trust was put into these devices and although there is no evidence to suggest any injuries, there was certainly a lot of lives put at risk.
Prosecutor Richard Whittam told the jury that businessman James McCormick, convicted today of selling fake bomb detectors, bought 300 Golfinder novelty machines for finding golf balls from the US between 2005 and 2006.
The court heard that the Advanced Selection Equipment devices had no scientific basis and were based on a £13 American novelty golf ball finder.
ITV News Reporter Emily Morgan reports:
Latest ITV News reports
James McCormick made millions conning governments and armed forces into buying fake detectors, which had been designed to find golf balls.