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Prolific Newmarket con man gets more jail time after 'meritless' appeal

The Court of Appeal, Royal Courts of Justice (3798062)
The Court of Appeal, Royal Courts of Justice (3798062)

A bankrupt used car dealer who conned dozens of customers out of £35,000 had his time in jail increased after losing an appeal against his four year jail term.

Richard Wayne Palmer, 51, who was described in court as a ‘prolific fraudster’, conned more than 30 of his customers while running his fraudulent car dealership, Hammond Autos Ltd in Newmarket.

Palmer, of Great Cranfield, Dunmow, should not have even been involved in a business because he was bankrupt.

He was jailed for four years at Ipswich Crown Court in January, but last week the Court of Appeal in London added three weeks to his jail time as punishment for wasting court time with what was called a ‘hopeless’ appeal.

Judge Lady Justice Sharp ruled Palmer’s appeal was so ‘meritless’ it should not have even been taken to court.

The fraudster had pleaded guilty to fraud, fraudulent trading and a string of offences in relation to the business and obtaining credit while bankrupt.

He was originally made bankrupt in 2003 and had his discharge suspended indefinitely after failing to comply with rules.

However, he took out loans totalling over £20,000 without revealing the bankruptcy.

Some of the money was ploughed into setting up the car dealership, which he then used to defraud customers.

Cars were paid for and not delivered, Palmer offering “lie after lie” to cover his tracks.

He was warned several times about his conduct, but continued to operate until he was arrested in July 2015.

His lawyers had argued that his four-year sentence was too tough and should be reduced.

But the appeal judge, sitting with Mr Justice Foskett and Mr Justice Nicol, said he deserved what he got.

He had lied on an “industrial scale” and the victims of his crimes, many of them unsuspecting members of the public, had been “profoundly affected”.

The crown court judge was right to take a “serious view” of the case, she added.

Lady Justice Sharp ordered Palmer to serve an extra 21 days behind bars for mounting a hopeless appeal.