A crooked car dealer, given 10 years in jail for conning trusting customers, had his sentence for frauds totalling £1million slashed by top judges yesterday (Wednesday).
Paul Johnathon Moyse (39) was put behind bars at Peterborough Crown Court in August last year after admitting assorted counts of fraud, false accounting and fraudulent trading.
Moyse, of Boston Road South, Holbeach, hoodwinked customers by selling off their high-end vehicles but failing to pass on the cash he owed.
He was also involved in dubious hire-purchase agreements, and sold vehicles on behalf of a car firm without paying them back.
He became “addicted to a lifestyle” involving power and prestige, Mrs Justice Swift told London’s Appeal Court today.
He even had himself photographed alongside professional boxers he had sponsored.
“He enjoyed that lifestyle at the expense of the hard-working people who had put their savings into buying their vehicles,” she added.
The judge who jailed Moyse said he had “never seen a case which caused such pain and heartache”.
Moyse’s case reached the Appeal Court yesterday as his legal team argued his 10-year sentence was far too tough.
And Mrs Justice Swift, sitting with Lord Justice Beatson and Mr Justice Globe, allowed his appeal, cutting the term to seven years.
The judge noted that Moyse had not set out with fraud in mind, but succumbed to temptation when his business began to unravel.
Although his total profits from the frauds amounted to around £1million, he had repaid at least some of the cash, she added.
His crimes had “very serious and distressing consequences on his many victims”, she said.
But she concluded: “The total here was too high... to reflect fully his criminality, the appropriate sentence would have been seven years.”