A rogue car trader, who registered vehicles in a dead man’s name, was shopped by his neighbour in revenge for bedding his one-time pal’s wife.
Stephen Conway, 58, of St. Hilda’s, Crescent, Gorleston, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk concealed his criminal past and duped a variety of insurance companies into covering the vehicles.
He pleaded guilty at Croydon Crown Court to six counts of fraud by false representation to the DVLA, AA and Zurich Insurance in relation to a Ford Puma, Ford Diablo and a Mercedes Sprinter van.
He also pleaded guilty to possessing an article in the use of fraud, namely a driving licence in the name of the deceased Reg Varney.
“You are an old lag. You have been in trouble thirty-two times for ninety-five offences,” Judge John Tanzer told Conway (pictured). “It is time you grew up, you are nearly, sixty, it is pathetic.
The court heard a couple identified only as the Dennison’s lived opposite Conway at his former home in Orpington, Kent and the husband began keeping a diary log of the defendant’s movements after discovering the affair.
“Between August, 2009 and August, last year the defendant was running a business, buying and selling cars on the Internet,” prosecutor Miss Shahnaz Ahmed told the court.
“The neighbour recorded Conway driving the vehicles in a diary and he also found mail addressed to the defendant’s home, including a speeding ticket, in another man’s name.”
Police raided Conway’s council house on June 20, last year and found tell-tale documents proving the defendant registered the vehicles in Mr. Varney’s name – thereby concealing his own shocking driving record.
“He had been driving these vehicles and even made a claim on one insurance policy after an accident and was sent a cheque for one thousand three hundred and forty pounds,” added Miss Ahmed.
“He has an appalling driving record and he could not have run such a business in his own name.”
Conway was later cleared of an attempted arson attack on the couple’s home, but was convicted of causing criminal damage and head butting Mr. Dennison.
The defendant had been a one-time friend of the couple’s, even helping them with building work at their Hasting holiday home.
After Conway’s wife died in the early 90’s he found it difficult forming relationships with women and eventually had an affair with Mrs Dennison.
The tension between the three of them escalated and Conway successfully made a council transfer to Great Yarmouth last year.
The court heard he has convictions for supplying drugs, fraud, theft, deception, perjury, taking and driving away, drink-driving, handling stolen goods, harassment and battery.
“Your lifetime has been a catalogue of going up and down the British Isles committing offences,” Judge Tanzer told Conway, currently on Disability Living Allowance.
“It is tragic that you are back before a court yet again, but at least you have moved away from the rather interesting threesome you created.”
Conway was sentenced to twelve months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, placed on a two-year supervision order and disqualified from driving for three years.