North Suffolk antiques dealer in court

A FORMER Suffolk antiques dealer has appeared at Ipswich Crown Court after being extradited from Bulgaria, where he was on the run.Convicted fraudster Barry Spearing admitted he failed to surrender to the court on January 18, 2006, but denied he had absconded while on bail.

A FORMER Suffolk antiques dealer has appeared at Ipswich Crown Court after being extradited from Bulgaria, where he was on the run.

Convicted fraudster Barry Spearing admitted he failed to surrender to the court on January 18, 2006, but denied he had absconded while on bail.

The bankrupt former owner of Wrentham Antiques was found guilty in his absence on January 28, 2006, of committing a �1.9m antiques fraud.

Spearing, 48, was convicted by a jury of 10 charges of defrauding several creditors relating to his bankruptcy in November 2002.


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A confiscation hearing was adjourned to April 28 of that year in the hope that Spearing, formerly of Green Drive, Lowestoft, could be located.

During that hearing, which he failed to attend, a judge made a confiscation order for the sum of �1,873,870 or face seven years in prison.

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On January 12 this year, Spearing was arrested in Bulgaria and the court heard there were threats made on his life almost immediately.

The court was told that Spearing had concealed almost �1.9m before declaring himself bankrupt. At the time of Spearing's arrest in 2005 it was claimed his problems had escalated over the years. The family antiques business which once brought in more than �1m a year and export across the world hit trouble about a year before Spearing went bankrupt.

Judge David Goodin remanded Spearing in custody until March 27 when he is due to be sentenced after the not guilty plea has been assessed.

In January of this year the Serious Organised Crime Agency said police had finally caught up with Spearing in Bulgaria. He was found living with his girlfriend in the village of Botevo after being on the run for three years.

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