Daniel Watson and his wife Natalie presented themselves to numerous nursery settings as people of mean. In stark contrast to this, they managed to build up a debt of £10,000 in unpaid nursery fees.
Durham Crown Court heard that Watson claimed to be a financier or lawyer that drove an Aston Martin. Using this story, the couple managed to defraud 7 nurseries out of a total of £9,828.77.
Two nurseries lost £2,350 and £2,400 and a number of others fell foul to the stories they were given.
The prosecution said:
“Many of the businesses were relatively small and could ill-afford to lose the fees.”
“Several of the owners said that after a while they feared they would not be paid, but were reluctant to withdraw care because the children were clearly benefiting from it.”
Watson admitted to the seven charges of fraud between August 2009, and July 2012 and had previously been jailed for 18 months after defrauding a teacher he befriended out of £40,000.
After it was discovered what he had been up to at a number of nursery settings, an arrest was made. After this he went on the run to the Dominican Republic and was arrested on his return to the UK in August.
His wife is still believed to be in the Dominican Republic and no charges have been made against her at this moment.
Defending Mr Watson was Richard Bloomfield who stated:
“He accepts full responsibility for this offence. Mrs Watson very much trails in his wake.”
“The total sum was not huge as frauds go, and he has been in custody since August.”
When it came down to sentencing the jury sentenced Watson to 9 months in prison, suspended for 2 years, a 12 month supervision order and 200 hours of community service.
Speaking to Watson the judge said:
“You are a con man, a confidence trickster.”
“The nurseries could ill-afford to lose the fees, but it is to their credit they continued to offer care out of concern for the welfare of your children.”
“You have been to prison before, and have spent time in prison on remand. If you con people again, you will go to prison again.”
We were unable to find a report on whether the fees were repaid.
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