|Chiswick Octogenarian Escapes Jail|
Dennis Hancox given nine-month suspended sentence for role in £5m counterfeit scam
83 year old Dennis Hancox has escaped a jail sentence for his part in one of Britain's biggest counterfeit bank notes scams.
Hancox, whose Chiswick flat was used to print forged £20 and 50 euro notes, was the oldest member of the gang. He received a nine-month suspended sentence whilst his five accomplices were jailed for terms ranging from 12 months to 45 months.
60 year old Michael Duffy, also a Chiswick resident, was sentenced to 45 months in prison and another 24 months to run concurrently for his role in the £5m scam.
Presiding Judge William Kennedy warned against any romantic, "victimless" notions of their crime. He said, "There are some who become misty-eyed and talk of the Lavender Hill Mob. Counterfeiting, these same people suggest, is a victimless crime. What absolute nonsense that is."
The printing operation was set up in Hancox's Bolton Road living room after veteran forger known as "Hologram Tam" was jailed in 2007.
However, detectives from the Serious Organised Crime Agency had already began monitoring monitored the gang's movements over a 10-month period. Conversations were recorded during their meetings held in places as diverse as Claridge's hotel and South Acton Working Men's Club.
When detectives finally raided the house in July 2007, they seized forged £20 notes with a face value of £600,000 and €1.2m in counterfeit €50 bills. Banknote forgeries worth more than €5m were eventually recovered.
March 28, 2009