Maidstone worker who cheated creditors of £30,000 given suspended 51-week sentence

An electrician has been given a suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to defrauding his creditors.

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

In addition to a 51-week prison sentence, suspended for two years, Palmer was given a curfew order for six months, enforced by an electronic tag and ordered to pay compensation for the full amount of £30,000. He must also complete 200 hours of unpaid work.

Judge James Wadsworth passed the sentence at Southwark crown court, and said Palmer had committed a deliberate fraud. He added that Palmer had escaped a substantial prison sentence only through his willingness to repay the money he stole.

Pat McFadden, the minister for employment relations, 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.”