Suffolk serial fraudster is back behind bars after admitting selling farm machinery he did not own

Court news
Court news
Share this article
Have your say

A notorious West Suffolk fraudster is back behind bars after admitting yet more scams involving the sale of non existent farm machinery.

David Aves, 55, has spent much of his life in prison and today was sentenced to a further 27 months at Ipswich Crown Court.

Aves, of Freewood Street, Bradfield St George, near Bury St Edmunds had pleaded guilty to three offences of fraud by false representation.

Between October and December 2012 Aves managed to persuade three members of the farming community to hand over a total of more than £16,000 in payment for a tractor and a combine harvester that he did not own.

The court heard that Aves channelled the payments through the bank account of Anne Mason, 54, of Ragdale Road, Nottingham who appeared alongside him in court having pleaded guilty to an offence of money laundering.

Aves, who has amassed more than 150 convictions for fraud since 1976, has specialised in targeting farmers throughout the UK.

Guy Ayers, in mitigation, said that Aves acknowledged that he had an ‘abysmal’ record of offending but said a probation officer who had been supervising him had reported seeing a change in his character, possibly resulting from getting older or his ill health.

Mr Ayers said that for the first time in his life Aves was looking forward to being solvent even when his victims had been recompensed. An inheritance from his mother would still leave a useful sum of money the court was told.

Aves wanted to move away from a life of offending and had drawn up a plan in the hope of being able to start a business on his release from prison.

Sentencing him, Mr Recorder John Akast told Aves that he had an ‘awful’ record of offences of fraud, resulting in people losing tens of thousands of pounds.

Mr Recorder Akast said: “Not only have you wasted your life but you have taken probably several hundreds of thousands of pounds of other people’s money in your time with no intention off returning it.

“This is some of the most persistent offending I have ever seen.”

Mr Recorder Akast said he estimated that Aves’ offending may have cost the justice and prison system more than half a million pounds.”

Sentencing Aves to a total of 27 months imprisonment, Mr Recorder Akast told him: “You are getting a bit old. Do you really want to spend the rest of your time in prison?”

Appearing for Anne Mason, Ian James told the court: “Her involvement was more through closing her eyes to the obvious than active participation.”

Mason has not instigated any of the offences. She had choosing to ignore what was happening when she realised that what Aves was doing was not legal, said Mr James.

Mr Recorder Akast sentenced Mason to four months imprisonment suspended for 12 months and placed her under Probation Service supervision for 12 months.

The court heard that Aves is to face a further hearing later this year when an application will be made under the Proceeds of Crime Act to seize from him money to return to his victims.