Swindon AdvertiserChristopher Baines admits furniture fraud and may be deported back to Swindon (From Swindon Advertiser)

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Christopher Baines admits furniture fraud and may be deported back to Swindon

Swindon Advertiser: Christopher Baines Christopher Baines

THE long wait for justice may finally be over for victims of the Mr Woodz furniture store fraud as Christopher Baines has pleaded guilty to fraud and theft at a court in America.

Baines was convicted of 30 counts of fraud and sentenced to five years in prison at a trial in his absence in Swindon Crown Court last year.

He was charged with duping customers out of thousands of pounds from the store in the Brunel Centre.

He fled the country while on bail in 2012, and settled first in Canada before moving to the US states of Florida and then Georgia.

Baines was handed a three-year suspended sentence with seven years on probation at Madison Superior Court, with a view to being deported back to Swindon to serve the five years he was sentenced to last year.

He pleaded guilty to one count of financial transaction fraud, one count of theft and one count of influencing a witness ahead of the trial on June 23.

The witness in the case, one of Baines’ ex-girlfriends from Madison, helped authorities track him down to San Antonio in Texas by tracing the locations where he had been using her credit card. Following an eight-month wait in jail, Baines has now admitted culpability.

“In my opinion the sentence is not enough,” his ex said. “He has defrauded so many people he really deserves never to be out of jail unless he can be reformed.

“I was due to take the stand but I never had to do anything. He pleaded guilty because he knew if it actually went to trial he would get the maximum sentence.

“I just want to put the whole thing behind me now. I am done with him.

“We were only able to get him on the credit card fraud transactions.

“He had to make restitution for that and has been forced to pay me back $2,000, which is already with me. He still owes me $8,000, but I don’t expect to see a cent of that.”

The witness had to stand her ground ahead of the trial with Baines ordering her to drop the charges.

“He was writing letters to me and threatening me, telling me to drop the charges,” she said. “He even sent someone round to my shop with a letter telling me to drop the charges. You can’t do that, because it’s influencing a witness, so he got some extra time for that.

“I do know that the judge who granted him bail in England has requested for him to come back, and Clive Read with the fraud team over there is still working with all of us here. He has been in touch a few times to reassure us that he is still trying to get him back over there.

“All I want is for him to go back there and serve his time. Jail time here may be suspended, upon immigration picking him up and deporting him to England.”

Wiltshire Police have approached the Crown Prosecution Service for an extradition warrant and the fraud team have been working since 2012 to bring him back to this country since he absconded.

Comments (5)

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7:56am Wed 25 Jun 14

Badgersgetabadname says...

Not so much of a con man just a liar and useless.
Taxpayers paying to fly him back so that he can do 6 months???

If a drug dealer can laugh about having sick pornographic images of children and only gets community service what sort of sentence can we really expect to see here?
Will do it again and then blame his prison record as the reason he cannot get a job.
Not so much of a con man just a liar and useless. Taxpayers paying to fly him back so that he can do 6 months??? If a drug dealer can laugh about having sick pornographic images of children and only gets community service what sort of sentence can we really expect to see here? Will do it again and then blame his prison record as the reason he cannot get a job. Badgersgetabadname
  • Score: 14

11:12am Wed 25 Jun 14

bowlerc67 says...

We don't want him back!!!!!!
We don't want him back!!!!!! bowlerc67
  • Score: 4

5:07pm Wed 25 Jun 14

dukeofM4 says...

From Mr Woodz point of view he's saving £500 for the flight, and has free room and board at HMP B+B for a short stretch while possibly benefiting from HMP's free woodworking classes.

Perhaps he can be made to make the furniture himself that was promised to his customers (oops victims sorry forget we need to use 2014 language).

This guy is a small time crook not Ronnie Biggs. It may be good entertainment value for the Advert, but he doesn't deserve all the attention.
From Mr Woodz point of view he's saving £500 for the flight, and has free room and board at HMP B+B for a short stretch while possibly benefiting from HMP's free woodworking classes. Perhaps he can be made to make the furniture himself that was promised to his customers (oops victims sorry forget we need to use 2014 language). This guy is a small time crook not Ronnie Biggs. It may be good entertainment value for the Advert, but he doesn't deserve all the attention. dukeofM4
  • Score: 1

6:25pm Wed 25 Jun 14

Badgersgetabadname says...

Local news, local people affected yeah probably should be in the paper imo.
He looks like he has slimmed down in the states doesnt look like he would do to well in prison. From what I understand conning residents of HMP does not go down well.
Local news, local people affected yeah probably should be in the paper imo. He looks like he has slimmed down in the states doesnt look like he would do to well in prison. From what I understand conning residents of HMP does not go down well. Badgersgetabadname
  • Score: 0

8:31am Thu 26 Jun 14

house on the hill says...

And we wonder why their is so little support for or faith in the justice system! With the majority of crime being committed by serial offenders you thought someone would have woken up to the fact that lenient sentences to let them out to re-offend again and again isn't the best way forward for society or the criminals as clearly prison has made no difference to them whatsoever! Just open the hatch at 35,000 ft and let him swim the rest of the way!!!!
And we wonder why their is so little support for or faith in the justice system! With the majority of crime being committed by serial offenders you thought someone would have woken up to the fact that lenient sentences to let them out to re-offend again and again isn't the best way forward for society or the criminals as clearly prison has made no difference to them whatsoever! Just open the hatch at 35,000 ft and let him swim the rest of the way!!!! house on the hill
  • Score: 3

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