Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)


Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)


Article excerpt


FIRM fraudster Carlton Fielding has had his sentence slashed for his part in the pounds 620,000 scam.

Fielding, 48, was one of a sevenman gang locked up for their roles in the fraud, where a seemingly honest business placed orders over a long period without ever intending to pay, conning companies across the country.Last October, the former pub manager was jailed for 18 months at Newcastle Crown Court after admitting two counts of conspiracy to defraud.

But now, following an appeal by his lawyers at the Court of Appeal, two top judges slashed his "manifestly excessive" sentence to nine months.

Mr Justice Openshaw, sitting with Judge Nicholas Cooke QC, said although more than pounds 600,000 worth of goods had been pocketed in total, Fielding, of Heworth, Gateshead, had been involved with a much smaller amount.

The group typically set up supposedly legitimate businesses, ordered goods on credit, failed to pay for all or any of them and then closed down the companies.

Fielding was involved in Doylem Leisure Limited, which operated the Maiden Over pub in Heworth, and through which pounds 81,000 worth of goods was ordered and not paid for.

He said his role was limited to allowing a roll of carpet underlay to be stored at a convenience store he ran in Jarrow, South Tyneside.

But he was more heavily involved with a scam involving another of the companies, Cook Solutions, which operated from Seaham, and through which more goods were obtained on credit.

Some of those goods were found stored at his premises, but he pleaded guilty on the basis that his involvement had been with only pounds 8,000-worth of goods.

His lawyers argued the 18-month sentence was too long, since the judge had exaggerated the level of his involvement and had failed to take sufficient account of his guilty pleas.

Allowing the appeal, Mr Justice Openshaw said his guilty pleas, limited role, the modest value of the goods which passed through his hands and his previous good character justified a nine-month term. …

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