Rogue trader who faked brain tumor symptoms sentenced | New

In handing down his sentence, Judge Jonathan Carroll praised the work of our Trading Standards team for conducting such a “complex investigation”, and also called Mason’s symptoms “complete and utter fiction”.

Sentencing the defendants, Judge Carroll added: ‘It was a tragedy for the elderly and vulnerable victims who were exploited without mercy, and the business was set up from the start to take every penny available for extraction.

“Your offense was brutal in its callousness, laughing at you and filming the victims, mocking them and pulling entertainment.

“You have fundamentally damaged your victims’ twilight years, with one victim almost pushed to the point of committing suicide.”

The offenses were committed at properties in North Yorkshire, York, Cleveland and Durham, and one of the victims, an 89-year-old man from Colburn, was taken to his bank nine times and forced to withdraw his savings in cash totaling £23,950.

The campaign of exploitation against the often vulnerable and elderly victims saw the gang of fraudsters glean at least £51,735 from their offence.

Trading Standards Executive Member Cllr Derek Bastiman said: “This is a concerted and coordinated campaign of exploitation that has been carried out by the defendants involved.

“Taking advantage of often vulnerable victims and duping them out of their hard-earned savings is a despicable act in itself, but for David Mason to then lie about the symptoms of such a serious illness in an attempt to evade justice is foolish.

“I would like to pay tribute to the dedication and tireless work of the County Council’s Trading Standards Team together with their colleagues from North Yorkshire Police and the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Organized Crime Unit in bringing these offenders to justice. in justice.

“It sends a clear message that regardless of attempts to evade the justice system, we will continue to pursue offenders to ensure they are held accountable for their actions.”

The case was originally scheduled to be heard in court in May 2020, but had to be initially postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has created a large backlog in the court system nationwide.

The trial for conspiracy to defraud charges finally began on August 2 and lasted seven weeks, despite a loss of 10 days due to the defense lawyer and one of the defendants who contracted the Covid- 19.

On the first day of Mason’s cross-examination, he claimed he had fallen ill on the witness stand and could not continue. He was taken to hospital and tests were carried out for 10 days, although they proved inconclusive.

The judge was forced to drop the trial after having to discharge the jury due to delays caused by Mason’s deception.

Mason’s defense served the court with an expert report from a consultant neurologist, stating that his alleged medical condition meant he would never be fit to stand trial.

But trade standards officials appointed their own consultant neurologist and neuroradiologist to try to glean the truth, though Mason persisted in displaying multiple false symptoms during their exams.

Following reports compiled by the prosecution’s medical experts, which cast serious doubts on the authenticity of Mason’s alleged symptoms, Trading Standards officers made contact with police colleagues to undertake covert observations.

Evidence gathered showed that Mason actually ran a used car dealership in Thornaby, near Stockton, and had no symptoms of his alleged condition.

Mason was arrested at the garage at the end of March and then charged with perverting the course of justice.

The property’s CCTV system was also investigated by Trading Standards officers and footage showed Mason had shown no symptoms since the lawsuit was dropped.

The footage dates back to October last year and includes days when Mason appeared to be healthy and fit at the garage to days when he had actually faked symptoms hours earlier in court.

Footage also showed that on the day Mason was examined by a consultant neurologist named by his defence, who said he was unable to communicate, had mobility issues and would never be fit for a second try, he had then worked later. in the garage without any symptoms.

Mason appeared before Judge Jonathan Carroll, who had overseen the original trial, on April 29 when he pleaded guilty to both the charge of perverting the course of justice and the original charge of conspiracy to defraud.

He was remanded in custody ahead of the sentencing hearing today, after the conspiracy case against the other three defendants was resolved after they also pleaded guilty in a series of appearances before the tribunal.

At the April hearing where Mason pleaded guilty, Judge Carroll condemned the defendant’s actions for the grief he caused to the victims and the disruption to the jury members, as well as the financial cost to the court and the legal aid system.

Referring to Mason’s attempts to pervert the course of justice and prevent a second trial, Judge Carroll asserted that “there is no more gratuitous example of dishonesty and disregard for the justice system”, with behavior deemed so serious, calculated and prolonged.

The court heard that Mason set up a series of shell companies, Masterseal, Pro-Seal, Aquaseal and Bespoke Driveway Renovations, before sending Russell, Scott and Godley cold-calling households to try to get work.

Many of the victims had already been targeted by others and were known to the attackers.

They pressured the victims to accept the work to be done, ranging from cleaning solar panels to repairing roofs and driveways. The work, however, was of poor quality and unnecessary, and some commissions were not even carried out at all.

Speaking in court, Detective Superintendent Paul Greenwood, of the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Organized Crime Unit, said: ‘Our officers have worked closely with partners from Trading Standards and North Yorkshire Police on this operation.

“I’m glad that by working in partnership in this way, our efforts paid off in bringing someone to justice when they clearly thought they were out of reach.”

Mason is also facing an investigation by the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Economic Crime Unit and proceedings to have his assets forfeited under the Proceeds of Crime Act to potentially compensate victims and their families.

Acting Detective Superintendent Jon Naughton, of North Yorkshire Police, added: ‘We were delighted to work with Trade Standards to expose what was a daring attempt by Mason to escape justice.

“It is particularly sickening that these criminals prey on the most trusting people in our communities and exploit that trust for their own greed.

“To see the group brought to justice for such deplorable crimes against some of the most vulnerable in society is very heartening.

“My thanks go to our colleagues at Trading Standards for their determination and diligence in bringing these people to justice.”

Leave a Reply