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WALES: He's facing prison over pounds 690k con; STEVEN DICKENS GUILTY.

Byline: By STEVE BAGNALL

NOTORIOUS landlord Steven Dickens could be jailed after he was yesterday found guilty of defrauding mortgage lenders out of hundreds of thousands of pounds.

A jury at Knutsford Crown Court found him guilty on 10 counts of illegally obtaining pounds 690,000 from banks and building societies.

Following a gruelling case lasting weeks which started in November, the court heard the 44-year-old had built a housing empire on "the shifting sands of fraud".

Steven Stanley Dickens, of Marine Drive, Rhos-on-Sea, repeatedly lied on mortgage application forms, claiming he was working for particular firms when he wasn't. He would claim he was going to live in the properties, but would then rent them out for profit.

It was all to build his property empire across North Wales towns including Colwyn Bay, Llandudno and Penmaenmawr.

His partner, Yasminah Bibi Jhurry, 33, also of Marine Drive, Rhos-on-Sea, was also found guilty on two counts of mortgage fraud, but was acquitted on two others.

Dickens and Jhurry had denied all the charges.

Now Judge Stephen Clarke will decide what punishment to dish out toDickens, which could include sending him to prison and confiscation orders to try and recoup the cash. That could leave Dickens with a bill running into hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The jury of six men and six women finally returned their verdicts yesterday on the fourth day of deliberations.

Shortly before 12 noon the foreman stood and pronounced guilty every time one of Dickens' 10 charges was put.

Dickens and Jhurry, 33, were given bail but were told to surrender their passports and continue to live at Marine Drive.

Judge Clarke said: "Confiscation needs to be look at carefully and needs to be done to a timetable.

"This is not the easiest case to proceed to sentence."

The judge yesterday paid tribute to the jurors' patience and diligence arriving at the verdicts.

He said: "I don't think I have come across a jurywho have paid such attention to the case and whatever questions have been asked have probing and helpful to the case."

He adjourned the case for pre-sentence reports.

Judge Clarke will sentence the two, and Dickens' mum June Dickens, who has already pleaded guilty to one count of mortgage fraud, at Chester Crown Court, on February 2.

CAPTION(S):

Steven Dickens, 44, built a housing empire by fraud; Partner Yasminah Bibi Jhurry was found guilty on two counts of mortgage fraud
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 10, 2009
Words:407
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