December 6 2013 Latest news:
Friday, September 20, 2013
Former security guard Eddie Maher must pay back nearly £130,000 of the £1.2million he stole or face an extra 30 months on top of his sentence, a proceeds of crime hearing has heard.
The 58-year-old is serving a five-year jail term for theft after pinching the money from a Securicor van during a delivery in Hamilton Road, Felixstowe in 1993.
At today’s hearing at Ipswich Crown Court, a confiscation order was made for £129,929 to be taken from Mayer’s pension pot, saved during his 12 years as a firefighter in London.
During his sentencing in March, Southwark Crown Court heard his split of the stolen money may have been only £200,000.
The court heard Mayer will face an extra 30 months on his sentence if the money is not paid back in the next six months.
His current release date is January 2015.
It is understood Maher spent the proceeds of his crime during his time on the run, mostly using the cash to buy properties as he moved his family around the US in a bid to evade authorities.
But Ipswich Crown Court heard £129,000 had been found in a pension fund from his time as a firefighter with London Fire Brigade.
Judge David Goodin ordered Maher to pay over this sum, with £50,000 going to G4S, previously known as Securicor, for its loss in paying an insurance excess following the theft.
The remaining £79,000 will be paid to Equitas Insurance.
The judge said: “You will have six months to pay and, should you fail to do so, you will serve two-and-a-half years consecutive with you current prison sentence.”
Maher appeared via video link from HMP Belmarsh wearing a grey T-shirt.
Asked if he understood the order, he said: “Yes sir, I understand.”
Maher – known as “Fast Eddie” after living for 20 years as a fugitive in the US – appeared via video link from Belmarsh Prison.
Maher, from South Woodham Ferrers, near Chelmsford, pleaded guilty to the theft on March 5.
Suffolk police were called to Lloyds Bank in Hamilton Road at 9.30am on January 22, 1993 following a report that a Securicor van driver had driven off with the van and the money inside.
The van was later found abandoned in Micklegate Road in Felixstowe. £1,172,500 had been stolen from inside.
Maher – who used the false identities of Stephen King and Michael Maher while on the run – was arrested by US authoritices in February last year for illegally possessing firearms before being deported and jailed at London’s Southwark Crown Court last March.
At the time of his arrest on February 9 last year, he was working as a cable engineer in Missouri.
Suffolk police’s detective inspector David Giles, said “Today’s hearing sends out a strong message that no matter how much time has passed since an offence was committed we will use whatever powers are available to us, to pursue any money or assets that have been accrued by an individual.
“In this case Edward Maher had evaded the law for 20 years. Although when arrested he had no assets or money, what he did have was a pension which had been accruing over the previous 20 years. After seeking advice it became apparent that we would be able to pursue these monies under the Criminal Justice Act.
“It is pleasing to hear the result at court today and to know that some of the money, albeit only a small proportion has been confiscated from Maher.”