Published: 00:00, 18 August 2006
A CAR dealer caught burning money when police went to arrest him at his farm was jailed for just over three years.
Officers found Raymond Conefrey, 37, throwing cash onto a bonfire at Callis Court Farm, West Malling. They also found an imitation gun in an outbuilding, as well as six live cartridges at his girlfriend’s home.
The money - £300 in total - was the proceeds from a crime which, Maidstone Crown Court heard, could not be identitifed. The police had gone to arrest him on suspicion of aggravated burglary but no charges were ever brought.
Conefrey, now of Heathcott Road, Aylesford, admitted concealing criminal property, possession of an imitation firearm and possession of ammunition when prohibited following a 15-month sentence of imprisonment in 2001 for handling stolen goods.
The father-of-three also pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods - a motor insurance cover note book - between February and March last year, obtaining a pecuniary advantage - motor insurance - by deception in August 2004, using a false instrument to obtain that insurance between August and September 2004 and false accounting in relation to a mortgage application between November 2004 and March last year.
Conefrey had successfully completed courses and been entrusted with several prison responsibilities. Furthermore, a letter of support from a prison officer was handed to the judge.
Jailing Conefrey for a total of 38 months Judge John MacDonald, QC, said he gave him credit for his guilty pleas, progress in prison and no previous convictions for firearms offences.
But he added that jail was unavoidable. "Because of your record and the association of these offences with each other, all the counts are so serious that only a custodial sentence can be justified," he explained.