Break-up lands convicted fraudster back in court

The break-up of an engagement left a convicted fraudster out on the streets, and landed him in the Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Bellville today, for alleged failure to comply with the terms of a suspended jail sentence.

Tertius Barnard hobbled into the prisoner’s dock on crutches, to explain to Magistrate Amrith Chabillal that he had to vacate his fiancee’s home last Tuesday, after the break-up of their engagement.

Two years ago, Barnard was given a suspended jail sentence for fraudulently selling a wholesale liquor distribution business.

The business involved the sale of wine to liquor outlets, and Barnard had also falsely informed the buyer that it was acceptable to water-down the wine for increased profits.

The suspended jail sentence, imposed by Chabillal, included three years of house arrest, which confined Barnard to his fiancee’s home, where he could be monitored by the prison authorities.

The sentence also included an order that Barnard refund the R450 000 that the buyer had paid for the business, in monthly instalments.

According to prosecutor Derek Vogel, the break-up of the engagement left Barnard homeless, and without an address where he could be monitored.

Barnard was also in arrears with the instalments.

This prompted an application by the state for the court to consider sentence afresh, to exclude house arrest.

A weepy Barnard told the court that he now lived with friends in Paarl, where he could be monitored again, and that he had been in hospital for six months for treatment for tuberculosis.

The application was postponed to November 19, for Barnard to consult a Legal Aid attorney.

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