Policeman pays for his crimes

Stephen Spellacy
Stephen Spellacy

A FORMER policeman from Pocklington, who played a part in a £1.4million fraud scam, has been ordered to repay tens of thousands of pounds.

Stephen Paul Spellacy, aged 39, from Pocklington, was a serving Humberside Police Officer with 13 years’ service when he took part in a large-scale theft from the Aviva insurance company in York.

He was an integral part of a 14-strong gang, which included fellow Yorkshiremen John Michael Taylor, Peter Harrington and Keith Swift, who stole £1.4million from the company.

As a result of the long-running police Operation Badminton investigation, which began in early 2008, the gang were jailed for a total of 35 years.

Spellacy, who resigned from the police force following his arrest in September 2008, helped in the laundering and collection of the stolen money.

He pleaded guilty in May 2009 to conspiracy to money laundering and a firearms offence and was sentenced to eight and a half years in prison.

Since his imprisonment, North Yorkshire Police has pursued Spellacy and the rest of the gang’s criminally gained assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

On 20 April the court found that Spellacy had benefited from his criminal conduct to the value of £1,262,698.04.

Police traced assets to the value of £33,371 in his name and made a confiscation order in that amount.

Detective Inspector Ian Wills, of North Yorkshire Police’s Financial Investigation Unit, said that the recovery of the money was a pleasing outcome for the force.

“This is a fantastic result for the financial investigation unit and reflects four years work by financial investigator Mike Sankey who conducted the initial investigation and continued the financial enquiries through to the final confiscation hearing,” he said.

“All the money which has been recovered will be paid out in compensation to the victims.

n Turn to page 3

n From page 1

North Yorkshire Police will always pursue criminals to recover money and assets obtained from criminal activity.”

Swift, Harrington and Taylor have also appeared at confiscation hearings in court over the last two-weeks.

Swift, aged 49, from Normanton, West Yorkshire appeared before the court on Monday and was ordered to repay £440,833 within six months or face a further three-and-a-half years’ added to his current nine year prison sentence.

The court heard that Swift had probably hidden £437, 953 which he was instructed to pay back along with the £2,880 worth of assets the police had traced.

Taylor, aged 37 from York, was a manager at Aviva and had diverted money from his employers on a number of occasions, culminating in a final large diversion of funds of over £1.1 million in December 2007.

Aviva had already taken legal action against him in the High Court and recovered around £50,000 from his bank accounts and the equity in his home, while police traced assets to the value of £6,855.21 and made a confiscation order for that amount in court on April 20.

Harrington, aged 40 from Normanton in West Yorkshire, was a JCB driver who accepted a fraudulent payment of £1.1 million into his bank account and then distributed the money under the direction of others, whilst keeping a chunk for himself.

Police traced £1,518.73 of assets in his name and made a confiscation order in that amount.

Again, Aviva had already taken legal action against him in the High Court recovering around £86,000 from cash in his bank accounts, as well as land, and a Range Rover Sport bought with the stolen funds which was seized by the police at the time of his arrest.