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Police officer jailed for fraud

A Durham County police officer has been jailed for 8 months after pleading guilty to fraud.

Darren Hart, 41, forged his father's will to stop his wife from inheriting anything.

Mr Hart was in the middle of divorce proceedings when his father died in 2011.

Ronald Hart left £43,000 and no will. But he had left a note saying he did not want his son's wife to benefit.

Darren Hart got a friend, Peter Atkinson, 27, to sign the note to make it look like a legal document.

Mr Atkinson went to the police weeks later and confessed what they had done.

Darren Hart from High Green, Darlington, who has since resigned from the force, was jailed for eight months.

Peter Atkinson from Mickleton, Barnard Castle, was given a five months jail sentence, suspended for 12 months and 20 hours unpaid work.

Children's cancer charity con

A woman who conned thousands of pounds out of people by claiming to raise money for a children's cancer charity has been jailed.

Katie Baldwin claimed she was doing a sponsored run for a children's cancer ward at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead.

The 25-year-old collected £2,000 from hundreds of households going door-to-door, and had been pledged a further £4,500. Newcastle Crown Court heard neither the running event nor the children's ward at that hospital actually existed.

Baldwin, of Kells Lane, Gateshead, pleaded guilty to fraud at an earlier hearing.

At Newcastle Crown Court today (Friday) Baldwin, who is now a carer to her father who is terminally ill with cancer, was sentenced to to six months in prison.

"Perhaps now, with your father in that terrible position, you realise exactly how meanyou acted when you committed this fraud. What you did undermines the giving of money by people to charitable organisations who rely upon that good will."

– Mr Recorder Dean Kershaw

Full Report: Two sentenced for fraud

Two men have been jailed after swindling two pensioners with advanced dementia out of almost £80,000.

Steven Wood and Ryan Lowe, members of the travelling community, told vulnerable elderly people in North Yorkshire that vital repairs were needed on their homes and gardens.

Trading standards officers found that the work was unnecessary - and that it had not actually been carried out.

Rachel Bullock was at today's sentencing.

Watch her full report below.


Jail for "repairmen" who preyed on elderly

Two men from the travelling community have been sentenced to years in jail, after swindling two North Yorkshire pensioners out of thousands of pounds.

Steven Wood Credit: North Yorkshire Trading Standards
Ryan Lowe Credit: North Yorkshire Trading Standards

Teesside Crown Court heard the work they charged for was either botched or simply not carried out.

Both men admitted fraud.

Steven Wood was jailed for 4 and a half years. Ryan Lowe was given a 3 year sentence.

Two sentenced to jail after defrauding elderly victims

Two men from the travelling community have been jailed after admitting trying to defraud two pensioners out of nearly 80 thousand pounds.

Steven Wood and Ryan Lowe told elderly victims in North Yorkshire that they needed repairs to be done on their homes and gardens.

No significant work was ever carried out - yet the pair took thousands in payment from the victims.

An 87-year-old man paid the men over £72,000 and another 84-year-old woman gave £6000 to them. Both victims suffered from severe dementia.

Wood was jailed for 4 and a half years and Lowe was given a three year sentence.

CCTV image released after Newcastle fraud

Police wish to speak to the man captured in this CCTV image. Credit: Northumbria Police

Police have released a CCTV image of a man they wish to speak to after a fraud offence in Newcastle.

A plastic strip was placed over a cash machine at One Stop Store in Two Ball Lonnen, Fenham at around 4.45pm on Friday 1 June, preventing money from being dispensed.

Northumbria Police think the man captured on CCTV could help them with their enquiries into the incident.

Anyone who recognises him is asked to contact police on 101 ext 69191, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Police target high street fraudster

Police have seized £10,000 from a woman who defrauded high street shops under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Tracey Scott, from Houghton, was charged with fraud by false representation in August 2011.

The 48-year-old photocopied the receipts of purchased goods from Argos, and returned identical items that were bought elsewhere at a cheaper price.

Scott pleaded guilty, and in March 2012 she was given a suspended sentence of 40 weeks, and told to carry out 150 hours of unpaid community service.

A confiscation hearing at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday found that Scott had earned the money through criminal activity. She was ordered to pay it back within six months or face a six-month prison sentence.

Detective Chief Inspector Lisa Orchard, from Northumbria Police said:

"We are pleased with the outcome of the confiscation hearing which clearly demonstrates that crime does not pay.

"Anyone found making money from fraud or any other types of crime will be caught and dealt with appropriately by the courts."

– Detective Chief Inspector Lisa Orchard, Northumbria Police
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