Public conned out of thousands with false fridge freezer invoices

Public conned out of thousands with false fridge freezer invoices

Public conned out of thousands with false fridge freezer invoices

First published in News
Last updated
Exclusive by , Crime reporter

Four businessmen conned the public purse out of thousands of pounds for projects, including one at a Newhaven fish market visited by the Queen.

Michael Burge, 48, created false invoices to supply and install freezers for storing fish and shellfish, which were used to secure government grants over three years.

Ian Bickerstaff, 60, the director of West Quay Fisheries, in Newhaven, and worker David Henman, 65, used these fake quotes to apply for funds.

So did William Brock, 49, a director and company secretary of Brighton and Newhaven Fish Sales, in Portslade.

The Maritime Fisheries Agency, now the Marine Management Organisation, approved the grants, given out to support sustainable fishing for the future. But the work was never carried out.

The Queen visited West Quay Fisheries in October 2013 and met Bickerstaff.

The men pleaded guilty to a string of offences on the first day of their trial at Portsmouth Crown Court on Monday, which had been due to last seven weeks.

The court heard Burge helped obtain some £30,000, but he did not keep it – while Brock pocketed more than £28,000.

Judge Iain Pearson said when they were sentenced yesterday: “I appreciate that the considerable time from you four first being questioned to appearing here would have been stressful.

“But you were authors of your own misfortune. All of you are now remorseful and where appropriate offers have been made to refund the money.

“This was a calculated and premeditated series of acts of dishonesty over a period of time.

“You all took advantage of what was a relatively lax system of money giving from a public body and the public purse lost a significant amount.”

Brock, from Botolphs Road, Botolphs, near Steyning, pleaded guilty to one count of fraud. He was sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for two years, and was ordered to repay £28,782 and pay £8,000 costs.

His co-defendants admitted two counts of false accounting each.

Burge, from Pitreavie Road, Portsmouth, was given two 10 month prison sentences, suspended for two years and ordered to pay £11,993 costs.

Bickerstaff, Court Farm Road, Newhaven, was given eight months on each count, suspended for two years and told to pay back £14,626.

Henman, of Brighton Road, Newhaven, was handed seven months in prison, for each count, to be served concurrently, and suspended for two years, and a curfew.

Burge, Brock and Bickerstaff were all ordered to carry out 120 hours unpaid work.

Comments (14)

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7:50am Thu 4 Sep 14

Valentinian says...

Suspended sentences!!!!!farcic
al..... Brock is a crook
Suspended sentences!!!!!farcic al..... Brock is a crook Valentinian
  • Score: 19

9:24am Thu 4 Sep 14

NickBrt says...

I recognise that couple in the picture. No, don't prompt me, its on the tip of my toungue. Yes, got it, its who Caroline and Jason pompously think they ate!
I recognise that couple in the picture. No, don't prompt me, its on the tip of my toungue. Yes, got it, its who Caroline and Jason pompously think they ate! NickBrt
  • Score: -10

10:40am Thu 4 Sep 14

s&k says...

Would you buy a used fridge from this monarch?
Would you buy a used fridge from this monarch? s&k
  • Score: -1

10:47am Thu 4 Sep 14

Nikski says...

NickBrt wrote:
I recognise that couple in the picture. No, don't prompt me, its on the tip of my toungue. Yes, got it, its who Caroline and Jason pompously think they ate!
Oh go away you irritating pillock!
[quote][p][bold]NickBrt[/bold] wrote: I recognise that couple in the picture. No, don't prompt me, its on the tip of my toungue. Yes, got it, its who Caroline and Jason pompously think they ate![/p][/quote]Oh go away you irritating pillock! Nikski
  • Score: 6

1:26pm Thu 4 Sep 14

NickBrt says...

Nikski has its knickers in a twist. Always happens to greens when they see something they don't like. They hate other opinions.
Nikski has its knickers in a twist. Always happens to greens when they see something they don't like. They hate other opinions. NickBrt
  • Score: -8

2:24pm Thu 4 Sep 14

Skidrow says...

Is there a dual personality going on here?
Is there a dual personality going on here? Skidrow
  • Score: 3

3:13pm Thu 4 Sep 14

Nikski says...

NickBrt wrote:
Nikski has its knickers in a twist. Always happens to greens when they see something they don't like. They hate other opinions.
No I don't hate others' opinions when they differ to mine; I have fought and will continue to fight for their right to express them. What irritates me is your tedious and pathetic need to make political points after every story that appears in the Argus. I'm all for grown-up differences and debate, but your constant posting of puerile anti-green remarks, however disconnected to the article, is very tiresome. You are like an annoying little insect buzzing around that has to be swatted away! Bzzzzz.....
[quote][p][bold]NickBrt[/bold] wrote: Nikski has its knickers in a twist. Always happens to greens when they see something they don't like. They hate other opinions.[/p][/quote]No I don't hate others' opinions when they differ to mine; I have fought and will continue to fight for their right to express them. What irritates me is your tedious and pathetic need to make political points after every story that appears in the Argus. I'm all for grown-up differences and debate, but your constant posting of puerile anti-green remarks, however disconnected to the article, is very tiresome. You are like an annoying little insect buzzing around that has to be swatted away! Bzzzzz..... Nikski
  • Score: 2

3:28pm Thu 4 Sep 14

Goldenwight says...

Of this £63,000 in repayment orders and costs, how much is the public purse expecting to actually see?
Of this £63,000 in repayment orders and costs, how much is the public purse expecting to actually see? Goldenwight
  • Score: 8

3:48pm Thu 4 Sep 14

squidlydiddly says...

The website regarding the lot at Portslade seems to suggest they are all above board, makes you wonder what they are actually selling you. I will steer clear now. I assume they will have to pay all the money back?
The website regarding the lot at Portslade seems to suggest they are all above board, makes you wonder what they are actually selling you. I will steer clear now. I assume they will have to pay all the money back? squidlydiddly
  • Score: 8

4:38pm Thu 4 Sep 14

Wide Bertha says...

Nikski wrote:
NickBrt wrote:
Nikski has its knickers in a twist. Always happens to greens when they see something they don't like. They hate other opinions.
No I don't hate others' opinions when they differ to mine; I have fought and will continue to fight for their right to express them. What irritates me is your tedious and pathetic need to make political points after every story that appears in the Argus. I'm all for grown-up differences and debate, but your constant posting of puerile anti-green remarks, however disconnected to the article, is very tiresome. You are like an annoying little insect buzzing around that has to be swatted away! Bzzzzz.....
Like every internet user, and, as you do, this person has the freedom to write whatever they choose. And as for you being 'all for grown-up differences and debate', all I ever seem to see you write are criticisms or put downs of others, hardly debating, is it ?
[quote][p][bold]Nikski[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]NickBrt[/bold] wrote: Nikski has its knickers in a twist. Always happens to greens when they see something they don't like. They hate other opinions.[/p][/quote]No I don't hate others' opinions when they differ to mine; I have fought and will continue to fight for their right to express them. What irritates me is your tedious and pathetic need to make political points after every story that appears in the Argus. I'm all for grown-up differences and debate, but your constant posting of puerile anti-green remarks, however disconnected to the article, is very tiresome. You are like an annoying little insect buzzing around that has to be swatted away! Bzzzzz.....[/p][/quote]Like every internet user, and, as you do, this person has the freedom to write whatever they choose. And as for you being 'all for grown-up differences and debate', all I ever seem to see you write are criticisms or put downs of others, hardly debating, is it ? Wide Bertha
  • Score: 0

4:40pm Thu 4 Sep 14

Handy-ish Andy says...

They were caught cold, apparently, and have their assets frozen.
They were caught cold, apparently, and have their assets frozen. Handy-ish Andy
  • Score: 3

6:40pm Thu 4 Sep 14

getThisCoalitionOut says...

I cannot believe that none of them have been jailed for this. Disgraceful of the judge to let them off so lightly.
I cannot believe that none of them have been jailed for this. Disgraceful of the judge to let them off so lightly. getThisCoalitionOut
  • Score: 6

11:23pm Thu 4 Sep 14

jackthekipper says...

ahh that lot have been raping the seabed for years,pair trawling too close to shore etcc,
ahh that lot have been raping the seabed for years,pair trawling too close to shore etcc, jackthekipper
  • Score: 5

8:19am Fri 5 Sep 14

Valentinian says...

Wide Bertha wrote:
Nikski wrote:
NickBrt wrote:
Nikski has its knickers in a twist. Always happens to greens when they see something they don't like. They hate other opinions.
No I don't hate others' opinions when they differ to mine; I have fought and will continue to fight for their right to express them. What irritates me is your tedious and pathetic need to make political points after every story that appears in the Argus. I'm all for grown-up differences and debate, but your constant posting of puerile anti-green remarks, however disconnected to the article, is very tiresome. You are like an annoying little insect buzzing around that has to be swatted away! Bzzzzz.....
Like every internet user, and, as you do, this person has the freedom to write whatever they choose. And as for you being 'all for grown-up differences and debate', all I ever seem to see you write are criticisms or put downs of others, hardly debating, is it ?
It is what her 'sort' do
[quote][p][bold]Wide Bertha[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Nikski[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]NickBrt[/bold] wrote: Nikski has its knickers in a twist. Always happens to greens when they see something they don't like. They hate other opinions.[/p][/quote]No I don't hate others' opinions when they differ to mine; I have fought and will continue to fight for their right to express them. What irritates me is your tedious and pathetic need to make political points after every story that appears in the Argus. I'm all for grown-up differences and debate, but your constant posting of puerile anti-green remarks, however disconnected to the article, is very tiresome. You are like an annoying little insect buzzing around that has to be swatted away! Bzzzzz.....[/p][/quote]Like every internet user, and, as you do, this person has the freedom to write whatever they choose. And as for you being 'all for grown-up differences and debate', all I ever seem to see you write are criticisms or put downs of others, hardly debating, is it ?[/p][/quote]It is what her 'sort' do Valentinian
  • Score: 0
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