Skegness man jailed for making fake coins

Friday, 14.20pm - A GAMBLER who funded his lavish lifestyle by making counterfeit cash in a workshop at his luxury home was today, Friday, jailed for seven years.

Patrick Campbell was caught red-handed when police raided his seven-bedroomed house and found him churning out fake one-pound coins.

Some 11,000 bogus coins made in his "secure" workshop were later discovered in the 52-year-old's seafront home, Lincoln Crown Court was told.

Police also discovered evidence of him buying enough brass sheets to provide him with the capacity to make more than 110,000 pounds' worth.

Robert Underwood, prosecuting, said Campbell and his wife Susan, 52, lived in a house with 15 rooms with leather sofas and flat-screen TVs.

He added: "Despite this lavish lifestyle, they did not appear to have any legitimate income. Neither had any employment or benefits.

"Campbell was a significant part of a counterfeiting operation. It is is clear they enjoyed a lavish lifestyle from the proceeds of this activity."

Despite the fact he was not earning, more than 34,000 pounds was deposited in Campbell's bank account during five months in 2006.

Then, within days of being questioned by detectives, Campbell claimed to be splitting from his wife and sold her the house in a sham deal.

The property was then sold on at a cut price to their son, with Campbell "spiriting away" the 95,000 pounds he got from the sale, said Mr Underwood.

Campbell admitted making, delivering and possessing counterfeit coins and possessing counterfeiting materials over an 18-month period.

He and his wife, both of Sea View Road, Skegness, also pleaded guilty to an offence of money-laundering in relation to the house sale.

Judge Michael Heath, who jailed Susan Campbell for two years, said the counterfeiting operation represented "serious criminal offending".

Passing sentence, he told Campbell: "When you were caught red-handed you devised a cunning plan to avoid having your assets confiscated."

Andrew Copeland, defending, said Campbell, who was swooped on in the summer of 2006, had "ruined his life" through a gambling addiction.