A notorious fraudster fled from authorities in the UK by booking a flying lesson and then convincing the flying instructor to drop him off in France during a lesson, a court has heard.
According to Mail Online, Jamie Colwell had been convicted of a £1m VAT scam alongside his ailing father, Brian and both men faced lengthy prison sentences. But while on bail, Jamie Colwell, 51, came up with a plan to flee the country.
He reportedly first hired a third party to drive his 74-year-old father to France via Dover in his new Porsche Cayenne. The driver then returned bringing back with Brian Colwell’s passport for his son to use as his had been confiscated as part of his bail conditions.
Jamie then booked a flying lesson in south-east Kent in his father’s name.
When the aircraft entered French airspace he convinced the instructor to land at an airfield in the Pas-de-Calais region and let him out, the court heard.
He met up with his father and the pair fled to Malaga in Spain, according to the report.
The court also heard the two men hired the same person to drive a rental van with their furniture to the Costa Del Sol.
After the defendants failed to re-appear at Bournemouth Crown Court in January for sentencing, officials from HMRC launched an investigation and were able to track the rental van’s journey to an address in southern Spain where the father and son were arrested in May.
The father and son were extradited back to the UK where Jamie Colwell was jailed for five years and three months and his father imprisoned for two years and eight months for fraud.
They also admitted offences of breaching court bail conditions and were each given an extra six months on top of their original sentences.