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'Destitute' cigarette smuggler is spared jail.

A "DESTITUTE" man who repeatedly tried to smuggle cigarettes and tobacco despite being stopped and given warnings, has avoided being jailed.

After being stopped on four previous occasions, David Chown was finally charged when he was caught with 15 kilos of tobacco and 400 cigarettes at Birmingham International Airport.

Chown, 56, of Mallow Rise, Perry Common, pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to a total of ten charges of being involved in the fraudulent evasion of duty.

He was sentenced by Recorder Christopher Hotten to six months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and was ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work.

Neil Chawla, prosecuting, said last October border control officers at the airport stopped Chown when he arrived on a flight from Malaga, Spain.

Michael Duck, defending, said after losing his job in the engineering industry, Chown was in desperate financial straits when he became involved in the smuggling activity and was now "in real terms financially destitute".
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Sep 23, 2009
Words:160
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