Updated: Friday, 23rd August 2019 @ 11:02am

Hyde man stored £40,000 worth of fraudulent goods in Greater Manchester home – but spared jail

Hyde man stored £40,000 worth of fraudulent goods in Greater Manchester home – but spared jail

By Jeremy Culley

A Greater Manchester man was spared jail today despite handling nearly £40,000 worth of fraudulent goods.

Mark Higgins, 34, of Ashburton Close, Hyde, was given a three-month suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to conspiracy to defraud.

Minshull Street Crown Court heard that Higgins – who has two previous convictions – must also attend an alcohol treatment centre as a term of his sentence.

Higgins took delivery of just under £40,00 worth of fraudulently-acquired builders’ materials at his home, temporarily storing them, before they were collected by a third party.

The goods were bought with various credit cards across the region, before being delivered to Higgins, who was paid between £20-30 each time.

As part of his plea, he emphasised how he had felt threatened and therefore unable to refuse the demands of those who engaged him in the fraudulent activity.

He became involved after being offered casual work by a man in a pub near his home.

Before explaining how he was limited to imposing a suspended sentence, His Honour Judge Foster said: “Really, I would like to impose an immediate short-term spell of imprisonment.

“It would send a clear message out to the public and would act as a deterrent.

Higgins was also ordered to pay £500 in costs, with his prison sentence suspended for 12 months.

Picture courtesy of Colin Smith via Wiki Commons, with thanks.

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