UK

Fake Bomb Detectors Seller Gary Bolton Jailed For Seven Years

20/08/2013 12:00 BST | Updated 20/08/2013 12:58 BST
PA
Sergeant Steve Golding (34) RAF 49 Squadron, (39 engineering) detonate's a reported unexploded rocket near a toilet area, Camp Dogwood.

A man who sold fake bomb detectors that were used in warzones has been sent to prison.

Gary Bolton was jailed for seven years after an Old Bailey judge said the devices were "useless" and "dross".

The 47-year-old sold the phoney devices to international clients for up to £10,000 each, boasting that they could detect explosives, narcotics, ivory, tobacco and even money.

But they were no more than boxes with handles and antennae that Bolton, of Redshank Road in Chatham, Kent, made at home.

Tests carried out showed the GT200 devices - which cost less than £5 to make - were no better at detection than random chance, yet Bolton continued to market them and sell them around the world.

He denied two counts of fraud but was convicted by a jury at the Old Bailey last month.

Sentencing the father-of-three today, judge Richard Hone QC said Bolton had maintained the "little plastic box" was a piece of working equipment, and that he continued to "peddle" it to scores of international clients - including for use

by armed forces - despite evidence proving it was "useless".

He added: "You were determined to bolster the illusion that the devices worked and you knew there was a spurious science to produce that end.

"They had a random detection rate. They were useless.

"Soldiers, police officers, customs officers and many others put their trust in a device which worked no better than random chance.

"The jury found you knew this but you carried on. Your profits were enormous."