A conman with a history of targeting farmers has been jailed for four and a half years
The notoriety of David Aves, 51, whose scams involved the sale of non-existent agricultural machinery, had led to his picture being published in farming publications with a warning not to do business with him.
But Ipswich Crown Court was told on Friday, 20 November, that the warnings about Mr Aves of Bradfield St George, near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, had failed to prevent two more members of the farming community falling victim.
Mr Aves responded to two adverts placed by farmers who wanted to buy machinery. He claimed that he had the equipment required and was willing to sell it. The farmers handed over the money but the equipment never arrived.
A string of bounced cheques, broken promises, lies and false claims led police to Mr Aves who initially denied the offences but last month changed his plea to guilty.
Other charges faced by Mr Aves involved unpaid bills for renting vehicles and generators, which he had then sold without the owners’ knowledge, and selling personalised car registrations which did not actually exist.
Mr Aves pleaded guilty to a total of nine offences of theft and 10 of fraud.
The court was told that Mr Aves’ latest round of offending had netted him up to £120,000 in just one year as he traded illegally using three companies, one of them Trotter Independent Trading – the same name as used by the character Del Boy in the Only Fools and Horses TV series.
The court heard that Mr Aves had previously appeared in court on 27 occasions for 125 separate offences, some committed using 10 different aliases.
Ten years ago Mr Aves shot to public attention after managing to get himself released from Norwich Prison by using fake bail papers. He was later recaptured.
Mr Aves is due to face a further hearing in the New Year when proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act will begin in an effort to recover as much as possible of what he obtained through his offending.