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Conman who made fortune from fake bomb detectors ordered to pay back £8 million

James McCormick was convicted of fraud Photo: ITV News

A conman who sold fake bomb detectors to war-torn countries has been ordered to pay back nearly £8 million.

James McCormick, who lives in Langport, Somerset, funded a luxury lifestyle by selling useless devices to customers in Iraq, Niger and Bahrain.

Following an Old Bailey trial in 2013, he was jailed for 10 years after being found guilty of three counts of fraud.

£21m
total criminal gains
£7.9m
what his assets are currently worth

A court heard his assets total nearly £8 million, included £4 million from the sale of a house in The Circus in Bath; an £88,000 parking spot and a luxury villa in Cyprus.

In the Old Bailey, Judge Richard Hone QC also ordered compensation be paid to McCormick's former clients in Bahrain, the United Nations forces in Lebanon, Niger, Iraq and Georgia.

McCormick was ordered to hand over the funds or face a further 10 years in jail.

The earlier trial heard how McCormick made millions from selling three models, based on a novelty £13 golf ball finder, to Iraq and other countries. The prosecution said there was no scientific basis to the detectors and they were nothing more than a con.

Jailing him, Judge Hone had told the fraudster he had blood on his hands as a result of his "callous confidence trick".

I am wholly satisfied that your fraudulent conduct in selling so many useless devices for simply enormous profit promoted a false sense of security and in all probability materially contributed to causing death and injury to innocent individuals

– Judge Hone

Outside court, Detective Inspector Ed Heath, of Avon and Somerset Police, said he was pleased with the judgement.

Our asset confiscation and enforcement team have worked tirelessly to ensure McCormick has not been able to benefit financially from his massive fraud.

It just shows that we will go after criminals and their money to ensure they do not live a luxury lifestyle.

– Detective Inspector Ed Heath, of Avon and Somerset Police