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Thursday, May 07, 2015

From The Archives - Former Hereford United Director Jailed For Deception


BN looks back to May 1998 when a former Hereford United director was jailed for deception.

A MIDLAND accountant who financed a luxury lifestyle by swindling nearly £700,000 out of a trusting elderly widow was jailed for nine years yesterday.

Father-of-three John Duggan (51) pretended to invest Mrs Anne Hamer's money, but used it to pay for his country home, racehorses and life as a director of Hereford United FC.

The widow, who trusted Duggan as a family friend, only found out about the deception in her dying days.

Duggan, former finance director with the club, persuaded Mrs Hamer to sign cheques over to him and forged her signature to obtain nearly £200,000.

In all he withdrew £688,000 from her bank and building society accounts and when she died, aged 87, only £10,000 of her fortune was left.

Judge Christopher Morton told Duggan: "The crimes are all the worse because Mrs Hamer relied totally on your integrity.

"She was in her late eighties with both her husband and son dead. Not only did she trust you, she was dependent on you."

Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court heard that Duggan lived the high life in his luxury country home, complete with swimming pool, at Gladestry, near Hay-on-Wye.

He had a string of trotting race horses once valued at £225,000 which he had to sell for £30,000 when he was made bankrupt.

Duggan claimed Mrs Hamer, of Hay-on-Wye, agreed to give him money in an attempt to keep him solvent.

The court heard that since her death £188,000 taken from her building society account had been refunded by the Alliance & Leicester.

The jury found Duggan guilty of six charges of deception.