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UPDATED: Fraudster jailed for hiding vintage car from courts
1:25pm Thursday 21st March 2013 in News
A FRAUDSTER has been jailed after attempting to hide a valuable sports car from officers assigned to seize his assets.
Alan Dykes, 55, concealed a 1952 Jaguar - worth up to £88,000 - behind a false wall in a chicken shed in an effort to keep it from the authorities.
He was sentenced to a year in prison for perjury and perverting the course of justice.
Dykes was convicted in 2011 for a con involving the same car. He was found guilty of obtaining a money transfer by deception after borrowing £45,000 to buy the Jaguar XK120 despite already owning it.
In the confiscation hearing that followed, he declared he had no realisable assets and that the car had gone abroad.
But Dorset Police's economic crime unit followed a trail to a set of rented agricultural buildings near Wimborne where several vehicles were stored.
A sharp-eyed officer noticed that one shed seemed bigger outside than inside. He discovered a false wall hiding the car, worth £70,000 to £88,000.
The car is likely to be signed over to Dorset Police and sold unless Dykes can raise £68,000. He must also pay £1,500 court costs for his two trials.
Detective Sergeant Andrew Kennard, of the economic crime unit in Poole, welcomed the sentence.
He said: “It sends a message that you can't hide this kind of asset and expect to get away with it.”
He said it was the first case he had encountered of a defendant trying to hide such a conspicuous asset. And he praised the work of the confiscator who found the car.
“The investigative work that led to finding the Jaguar was a good old-fashioned bit of detective work. Without finding the Jaguar, we would never have identified the fact that he had committed perjury or perverting the course of justice,” he added.
Jailing Dykes at Bournemouth Crown Court, Judge Samuel Wiggs said: “In many ways you are a resourceful person. You can't read or write, but have become a very skilled craftsman and restorer of classic XK120s.
“But you can't live on the edge of the law. You can't carry on this dishonest conduct.
“This was a concerted attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of the first jury. You continued that attempt for the second jury, and in the same time had been trying to do the same with the police.”