Fraudster receives suspended sentence for attempting to cheat creditors

An electrician has been given a suspended prison sentence, a curfew enforced by electronic tag and an order to pay compensation after admitting defrauding his creditors.

Third-time bankrupt Stephen Palmer, 51, from Maidstone in Kent, tried to cheat his creditors out of around £30 000 in 2004.

Passing sentence at Southwark Crown Court, Judge James Wadsworth QC said Palmer had committed a deliberate fraud. The Judge said Palmer had escaped a substantial prison sentence only through his willingness to repay the money he stole.

Business Minister Pat McFadden said: “We are determined to crack down on cheats like these who profit by deception.

“When someone acts in this way they are effectively stealing from honest creditors who are owed money and can suffer as a result.

“This prosecution sends a clear message to would-be fraudsters that they won’t get away with it.”

Judge Wadsworth sentenced Palmer to:

• A 51 week prison sentence, suspended for two years;

• A Curfew Order for six months between the hours of 8pm and 5am enforced by an electronic tag;

• A Compensation Order for the full amount of £30 000. Palmer will repay £1000 a month, with default on any payment punishable by an immediate 18-month prison sentence;

• 200 hours of unpaid work;

• A Supervision Order for 104 weeks.