HMA v BARRY HUGHES

At Glasgow Sheriff Court Sheriff Mackenzie sentenced Barry Hughes to a total of three years and seven months imprisonment after he pled guilty to fraud.

On sentencing Sheriff Mackenzie made the following statement in court:

“You have tendered pleas of guilty to two charges of common law fraud involving making dishonest and false representations about your wife’s earnings and thereby securing two separate mortgage loans, at different times, for sums totalling £1,287,955.

You have, in addition, tendered pleas of guilty to two offences under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, one involving acquiring criminal property and the other involving concealing criminal property.

These offences span a number of years.

I have listened with care to all that has been said on your behalf including the explanation given for the mortgage relating to the second property being taken in your wife’s name, the absence of loss flowing from the first fraud and the absence of loss thus far flowing from the second, the absence of previous analogous offending, your personal and family circumstances and the assistance you have given to various charities over the years.

Notwithstanding all that has been said on your behalf the fact remains that the deception you engaged in was not only audacious, involving extravagant claims to secure very substantial loans, but was also repeated.

Given the gravity of the catalogue of offending to which you have tendered guilty pleas I consider that no disposal is appropriate other than custody.

As two of the charges are statutory offences I shall impose separate sentences on each charge.

While all four charges could be dealt with on a consecutive basis I must consider the overall effect on the ultimate disposal which consecutive sentences would bring about. Recognizing that fact and recognizing that the statutory offence in charge (006) could perhaps be characterized as one aspect of the practical outworking of the criminality of charge (002) the sentences on charges (002) and (006) shall run concurrently.

Your pleas of guilty came during a trial sitting but after an extraordinarily protracted procedural history with numerous earlier callings in court.

However I recognize, as has been submitted on your behalf, that by tendering guilty pleas there has been some utilitarian benefit. Court time on a trial scheduled to last for two months has been saved with a consequent saving of public funds. Witnesses, some of whom live out with Scotland, have been spared coming to court. Jurors have been spared putting their lives on hold for such a lengthy period. This benefit will be reflected in the sentences I impose.

The sentences I impose are as follows:-

Charge 2   - 19 months imprisonment discounted from 21 months.

Charge 5   - 19 months imprisonment discounted from 21 months.

Charge 9    - 5 months imprisonment discounted from 6 months

All to be served consecutively.

Charge 6 - 19 months imprisonment discounted from 21 months.

To be concurrent with charge 2”.