Retired police worker left furious as fraud case dropped
10:30am Saturday 18th January 2014 in By Lewis Cowen
Former Wiltshire civilian police worker Mark Sayer was furious when he found out that a charge of fraud against a Devizes car dealer who he said owes him £3,400 has been dropped.
Jerry Swain, 66, of Maryport Street, Devizes, was told by Salisbury magistrates on November 8 that no further action would be taken against him after the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to proceed with a fraud charge.
Mr Sayer, 49, who now lives in Dunfermline, Scotland, said he was astonished when he read in the Gazette online that the case had been dropped as it was a civil rather than a police matter.
He told the Gazette: “At an earlier hearing it had somehow been agreed Mr Swain be granted leave to request my personal details via Wiltshire Constabulary. Given that the accusation against Mr Swain was one of potentially fraudulent and criminal behaviour, it is incredible to me that the ‘Court of the CPS’ would suggest I should surrender my address, telephone number and bank account details in such circumstances.”
His refusal was taken by magistrates to mean that Mr Sayer wanted no further contact with Mr Swain but he still wants a prosecution.
Mr Swain was charged with fraud by false representation in that he allegedly wrote Mr Sayer two cheques for £5,000, both of which bounced. He appeared before magistrates three times but was never asked to enter a plea.
On the third appearance, on November 8, the CPS offered no evidence and asked for magistrates to withdraw the charge. Mr Swain was awarded costs from public funds.
The case arose in January 2012 when Mr Sayer wanted to sell his wife’s 1996 Land Rover Defender and he approached a dealer with whom he had previous dealings to sell it for him.
The dealer passed the car on to Mr Swain, who duly sold it. But Mr Sayer said the first he knew of the sale was when he received a letter from the DVLC in Swansea in July 2012.
Mr Sayer said he then discovered Mr Swain had sold the Land Rover for £8,000 but wanted £3,000 commission. He said a cheque for £5,000 arrived but it was refused by the bank, and the same thing happened to a subsequent cheque.
Eventually, Mr Sayer received £1,600.
Mr Sayer said: “After I saw the Gazette article I wrote to the CPS. They said they stood by their decision to drop the case but warned me not to seek publicity as it may harm any future prosecution. I hope they will reopen the case.”
A CPS spokesman said: “The CPS reviewed the case and considered there was insufficient evidence to be able to show there had been dishonesty by the defendant at the time the cheque was written.”
The CPS had discontinued the case as there was insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction.
Mr Swain told the Gazette he had tried to pay Mr Sayer the money he owes him but Mr Sayer would have no contact with him. Mr Swain said: “If he walked through that door now I would pay him straight away. It was a very complicated case.”