A lengthy court battle, which was initially described as a witch-hunt and a travesty by the person at the centre of it all, has ended with former Scottish boxing promoter being jailed for a period of three and a half years. This is down to the fact that Hughes has eventually pled guilty to charges of mortgage fraud amounting to close to £1.3m.
Hughes has never been far from the public eye in Scotland with the mainstream media hinting at alleged links he had to certain parts of the Scottish criminal fraternity. Hughes was always quick to deny these allegations, stating that it was annoying that people couldn’t accept that people could earn money through their own skill and talents these days but the latest findings fly in the face of what Hughes has claimed.
There is a very interesting twist to the story and the reason why the investigation into Hughes kicked off. There has been court proceedings taking place for more than two and a half years but it can all be traced back to divorce papers that were lodged by Hughes’ wife Jacqueline in 2006 which stated that she was financially dependent on Hughes.
This was at the time when Hughes claimed that his wife was earning around £160,000 from her own interior design business McDonald Interiors.
The divorce papers were subsequently withdrawn with the couple still being together but with Hughes having admitting to lying about the income of his wife on two mortgage applications, the couple will now be separated as Hughes is in prison, with a sentence that is slated to run for 43 months.
Two mortgage applications have caused the trouble
The firm mortgage application which was fraudulent dates back to 2004 for a property in Bridge of Weir and the second mortgage application which has turned out to be fraudulent dates back to 2006, for a property in Kilmalcolm. Hughes has also admitted two separate charges of money laundering where he received a total of £128,885 after the first property was sold and Hughes then spent around £30,000 on a Rolex watch.
The sheriff of the case, Sheriff Alan Mackenzie cited the gravity of the offence and the fact that Hughes actually repeated his offence as being the reason why such a strong custodial sentence had to be placed on him. At the same time, Hughes’ wife pled not guilty to the charges and this was accepted. There was also a serving of papers relating to Proceeds of Crime placed on Barry Hughes and there will be a hearing which takes place at some point later in the year to determine how much money can be claimed from the couple.
The first mortgage application was for a mortgage of close to £430,000 and it stated that Jacqueline was self-employed and was the owner of the design firm. This was all the information that the mortgage firm required to accept the application and process the mortgage. The firm stated that if they knew the true income details for the couple, the mortgage application would not have been accepted.
Court of Session papers provide the catalyst for investigators
This property deal was concluded in the March of 2004 and a similar application was submitted in 2006, at a time after Jacqueline Hughes had initiated proceedings for a divorce from her husband. These papers had been placed with the Court of Session and it was these papers that eventually led to the court case that has seen Barry Hughes end up in prison. As far as the narrative of events goes, it is certainly one of the more inventive when it comes to being found out for criminal offences.
However, it does indicate the fact that committing fraudulent activity is something that people have to commit to. When there is a deviation from the story and a move away from the story that has initially been told, there is every chance that this will stand out and that someone will notice that something is not quite right.
The fact that the couple managed to patch up their differences is always something that should be hailed as a positive thing, especially as they have a family together but if the couple had been able to resolve their differences before divorce proceedings were submitted, Barry Hughes may currently be a free man.
Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professional for 8 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.