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Wall Heath man sentenced for dodgy diesel scam
9:00am Friday 19th October 2012 in Local
A WALL Heath man trousered nearly a quarter-of-a-million pounds by selling dodgy diesel at his filling station.
Gavin Jewkes, aged 34, admitted selling kerosene instead of diesel to unsuspecting customers on his forecourt on Central Trading Estate, Shaw Road, Dudley.
At Shrewsbury Crown Court, Jewkes, of Claydon Road, was sentenced to 12 months jail suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work, after he pleaded guilty to keeping more than £242,000 in unpaid duty on the sales.
Adrian Farley, HM Revenue and Customs assistant director of criminal investigation, said: ”Jewkes carried out the fraud purely to line his own pockets. He had no regard for his customers, who he conned, or the consequences that his actions could cause damage to their vehicles."
John Attwood, for Jewkes, told the court it was a family business initially run by the father and Gavyn Jewkes had no idea of the proportion of kerosene that was sold as road fuel.
David Jewkes, the court heard, had started a haulage business as a sole trader and that was dissolved in September 2009.
Gavyn Jewkes had worked for him from the age of 21 doing odd jobs and being paid in cash.
Jewkes senior started to trade fuel around 2007 and his son drove vehicles for him from 2008 - the year he had been warned by Revenue and Customs about the use of kerosene.
After the death of his father Gavyn Jewkes took over the firm and he continued the con although, it was maintained, not all the purchases were illegal.
Kerosene is a fuel used only for heating which burns hotter than diesel and prolonged use can damage vehicle engines.
The scam was uncovered by customs officers testing fuel in vehicles leaving Jewkes's filling station which is no longer in business.
Adrian Farley added: "I would urge anyone with information about fuel misuse in their area to contact our customs hotline on 0800 59 5000.”