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On run conman finally brought to trial

PUBLISHED: 09:12 14 June 2003 | UPDATED: 14:00 03 March 2010

JUSTICE has finally caught up with a conman who fled to the United States when facing a trial five years ago.

David May, 44, even sent the police officer who had been investigating him a postcard from America saying he wouldn't be back.

JUSTICE has finally caught up with a conman who fled to the United States when facing a trial five years ago.

David May, 44, even sent the police officer who had been investigating him a postcard from America saying he wouldn't be back.

The fraudster went back on his promise – but it took more than three years for police to realise he was back in the country.

May, of Hessett Close, Stowmarket, was jailed for four years yesterday after admitting not paying for thousands of pounds of goods and services between 1994 and 1997.

He jumped bail when due to face trial for the offences in December 1998 and sent a Suffolk detective the cheeky postcard from the States.

Ipswich Crown Court heard May spent 18 months in America before returning and had been working as an international lorry driver for a company in Rayleigh, Essex.

He was brought to justice this week after police stopped his lorry in Dover and subsequent checks discovered a warrant was still out for his arrest.

May admitted five charges of deception – four of obtaining by deception and one of false accounting – and asked for 206 further offences to be taken into account.

Hugh Vass, prosecuting, said the offences included not paying for a Peugeot car and failing to settle credit card bills.

The crimes, which took place when May was living in Ipswich, were valued at a total of £7,260. May often gave false names and addresses to get the goods, Mr Vass added.

The court heard May had convictions dating back to 1983 including deception, handing stolen goods and forgery.

Simon Spence, mitigating, said May had lived a law-abiding life since returning from the States and had two children with his partner.

He was even on the Army reserve list during the recent conflict in the Gulf to serve on Green Goddesses in the event of a firefighters strike, Mr Spence added.

"He recognises the stupidity of not attending his trial, avoiding the matter for as long as he has done," he said.

"He finds it very odd this matter has taken so long to come to court. But he knows he must face the music."

Judge John Holt jailed May for four years for the deception offences and six months for jumping bail.

The sentences will run concurrently and Judge Holt said May must serve at least half the term in prison.

He said dishonesty and deception had been a theme in May's life and criticised his "effrontery and impudence" for sending the Stateside postcard to police.

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