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Nottingham conman jailed for DIY receipt scam

Published: 6 August 2008
'Millionaire shoplifter' sentenced to more than two years in prison for money laundering after arrest at Homebase in Altrincham.
Nottingham conman jailed for DIY receipt scam
Kevin Castle, dubbed the 'millionaire shoplifter' by police, made a reported £1,000 a day by obtaining refunds for stolen goods from DIY stores across northwest England and the Midlands.

Mr Castle used a variety of disguises to fool staff, posing as an electrical engineer, alarm fitter and property developer. He even used blocks in his shoes to boost his 5ft 5inch height.

The 43-year old was caught by police as he tried to exchange a packet of doorknobs at a Homebase store in Altrincham in 2006, but it is understood his crimes span back as far as 2004.

A search of his car uncovered 28 packets of Homebase doorknobs and a map highlighting 300 stores across the North of England and the Midlands. A complete till roll was also found by officers at Mr Castle's address.

After being released on bail, Mr Castle went on the run but was eventually detained as he got out of a hired BMW X5 in a car park near Nottingham in February this year.

Preston Crown Court heard that Mr Castle lived a millionaire's lifestyle, spending £140,000 from the scam to book a 28-night stay at Claridge's hotel in London, rent a luxury apartment and hire top-of-the-range cars.

Mr Castle pleaded guilty to money laundering and was sentenced to 28 months in prison.

His partner Elaine Rogers received a suspended sentence of a year for money laundering after large deposits of money were found to have been deposited into her bank account.

Detective Constable Dot Walker of Lancashire Police said: "Castle and Rogers have lived the high life for many years, living off the proceeds of crime."

Both are now subject to confiscation investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

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