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Cumbria police with Trading Standards and Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) have brought Barry Wilson, aged 36, to justice. He was sentenced to two years and three months imprisonment today. Wilson was due to be sentenced in January 2010 for handling stolen goods in relation to a burglary at Holynroot Farm, Wigton which happened on 18th May 2007.
During the burglary the contents of several freight containers were stolen, which was mainly specialist motorbike equipment. The loss to the business concerned was over
Several months later it was identified that items from the burglary were being advertise on Ebay, which led to an in-depth investigation to establish the identification of the seller.
On 24th January 2008 police attended the home address of Barry Wilson, who at that time had been living in Wigton, and he was arrested on suspicion of burglary, handling stolen goods and conspiracy to handle stolen goods.
In January 2010, Wilson was due to be sentenced but he absconded before the proceedings and remained wanted ever since.
On 16 June 2012, police officers from the Spanish National Police arrested Wilson in Calle Falset, Salou, Tarragona, Spain.
He was extradited and sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court on 9th August 2012, to two years and three months, which included six month for failing to attend Crown Court in
Detective Sergeant George Atkinson said: “The fact Wilson has been brought to justice is a great achievement and demonstrates how we never give up. The crimes committed by Wilson were devious, bringing disruption to the business and also trying to fraud innocent people by getting them to pay for stolen goods via Ebay.
“Wilson in total sold over £250.000 worth of items on Ebay, whilst doing this he used false identities and bank accounts, he also failed to disclose any of this income to the
DWP in order to continue in claiming social security benefits illegally.
“During this crime spree he also altered vehicle mileages and sold vehicles to unaware members of the public. Trading Standards had conducted a thorough
investigation into these frauds.
“The sentencing brought today demonstrates how the court will not tolerant crime and the fact that he tried to evade paying for his crimes.
“Working together with Trading Standards and the Department of Work and Pensions’ Investigators, has enabled us to go for the maximum number of offences against Wilson and in turn the highest sentence.”
The investigation by Cumbria Trading Standards into Wilson was for car 'clocking', where a vehicle's odometer is tampered with so that it shows a lower mileage than that actually travelled. Following the investigation, he was convicted of 16 counts of the offence in 2009.
Angela Jones, Cumbria Trading Standards Manager, said: "The sentencing of Wilson is the culmination of a long-running pursuit from the authorities and is proof that there is no escape from the law. His activities in car clocking were illegal, unfair and ultimately meant that trusting purchasers were paying over the odds for vehicles that they assumed were legitimate.
“Wilson's sentencing is a lesson to criminals, but also a lesson to the public that there are unscrupulous operators out there and they need to be on their guard when
DWP Fraud Investigator Bill Parkin added: “This investigation and its outcome is an outstanding example of how working in partnership with other Agencies can bring criminals to justice. Not only did Barry Wilson make a profit from his dealing on EBay, he also conned the taxpayer out of almost £20,000 in benefits he wasn’t entitled to”
“Benefit Thieves are costing the taxpayer almost £1 billion per year.
“This money is intended to help those in most need, not to line the pockets of Criminals like Wilson. We will continue to tackle this problem at the front line but also
at the root by reforming the benefit system to make it less open to abuse”