Fraudster jailed for four and a half years

A FRAUDSTER who stole up to �120,000 from his victims has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.

Jo Thewlis

A FRAUDSTER who stole up to �120,000 from his victims has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.

David Aves, 51, was sentenced for 23 theft and fraud charges between 2007 and 2008 at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday.

The court heard Aves, of Freewood Street, Bradfield St George, near Bury St Edmunds, ran a number of schemes through his two companies, Trotters Independent Trading Ltd and TWT Transport.


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As part of his scams he would loan vehicles and generators from hire firms, fail to pay rental fees then sell the vehicles on to unsuspecting owners.

One of his victims was Cynthia Brown, a recently widowed customer, who contacted Aves looking for a van to transport flowers in as part of her business.

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Andrew Shaw, prosecuting, said Mrs Brown had previously taken a back seat in the firm delivering flower arrangements to weddings and corporate events which she ran with her husband until his death.

He said: “After her husband died she decided to take a more active part.

“Aves presented himself as someone she could trust.”

Having hired a VW Transporter from Robinsons Motor Group in Norwich, Aves then fraudulently sold the van onto Mrs Brown for �16,141 in October 2007.

Among Aves' other scams, he sold 'cherished' number plates which had no DVLA documentation to drivers advertising for personalised combinations in the Sunday Times Motoring supplement.

Aves also conned money from farmers advertising for stock in Farmers Weekly magazine, selling them equipment which never arrived.

The court heard Aves had a history of 125 offences, 66 for fraud and 59 for theft.

Aves had previously denied the charges, but changed his plea to guilty at a hearing earlier this month. His mother, Doris Aves, 85, was acquitted of conspiracy to defraud along with Christopher Skelhorn, yesterday.

Aves also admitted lying to the Court of Appeal during a civil case, in which he won a right to appeal against a ruling made against him by forging a letter from solicitors Hood Vores and Allwood in October 2007.

He also admitted breaching a ban on becoming a company director by running Trotter Independent Traders, TWT Transport and Bury Transport Ltd.

Julian Christopher, in mitigation, said: “It is difficult to think of any defendant more institutionalised than Mr Aves.

“Hopefully, he will realise that to conduct your life in this way is ultimately rather pathetic.”

Sentencing Aves, Judge David Goodin said his treatment of Mrs Brown stood out as an abuse of a vulnerable woman.

He said: “Your record shows you to be a compulsively dishonest thief, fraudster and deceiver of both individuals and companies.”

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