Boxing promoter Barry Hughes jailed for 43 months

BOXING promoter Barry Hughes was jailed yesterday for three-and-a-half years for mortgage fraud and money laundering.
Boxing promoter Barry Hughes. Picture: Robert PerryBoxing promoter Barry Hughes. Picture: Robert Perry
Boxing promoter Barry Hughes. Picture: Robert Perry

The 35-year-old had admitted illegally obtaining £1.2 million for two mortgages and laundering £150,000.

The father of four, from Renfrewshire, had also pled guilty to using £30,000 of the money to buy a Rolex watch.

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Sheriff Alan Mackenzie told Hughes he had engaged in repeated deception and a custodial sentence was appropriate.

He told him: “The fact remains that the deception you engaged in was not only audacious, involving extravagant claims to secure very substantial loans, but was also repeated.”

All charges against his wife Jacqueline, 37, had been dropped during a previous hearing at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

Hughes claimed his wife made £160,000 from her business McDonald Interiors.

However, divorce papers lodged by her in 2006 stated she was “financially dependent” on her husband.

Hughes admitted lying on mortgage applications about his wife’s income in 2004 for one property in Bridge of Weir and in 2006 for a second in Kilmacolm.

He also admitted receiving almost £129,000 after selling the first property.

He kissed his wife, who is due to give birth in ten weeks, before being led to the cells.

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The court was told Hughes applied for a self-certified mortgage in his wife’s name for almost £430,000 in 2004, claiming she was self-employed and owned McDonald Interiors.

Procurator fiscal depute Bernard Ablett told the court: “The lenders state if they had known that the income details were false, they would not have approved the loan request.”

Before buying the other property, Mrs Hughes began divorce proceedings and papers were lodged at the Court of Session.

Mr Ablett said: “The summons stated the marriage had broken down irretrievably.

They averred that Jacqueline Hughes had been financially dependant on Barry Hughes both prior to, and after, their marriage in 2003.

“They also indicated Jacqueline Hughes had not worked since the birth of their first child in 2000.”

This came after it was revealed Hughes had a fling with former Miss Scotland Michelle Watson.

It was reported in 2008 that Mrs Hughes dropped the divorce proceedings for the sake of their two daughters.

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The court was told that Hughes paid a deposit of £25,000 to reserve a plot in 2006 that was to be in his name.

A further mortgage application was made to the Bank of Scotland for £858,000.

It claimed Mrs Hughes was the 100 per cent owner of McDonald Interiors and between 2004-6 had earned between £160,000 and £224,000.

Lenders again said that had they known the income details were false, they would not have approved the loan request.

Mr Ablett added: “The total amount of loans obtained by the accused as a result of the false statements in the application forms amounts to £1,287,955.”

In 2007, the Bridge of Weir property was sold for £700,000, resulting in Hughes receiving £128,885.

A week later, £200,000 was transferred from the couple’s joint account to his personal account.

A number of sources revealed the true income of Mrs Hughes.

Records from HMRC and the Department for Work and Pensions showed Mrs Hughes was a flight attendant between 1995 and 1997, earned a maximum of £6,840 per year and that she received income support between 2000 and 2003.

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She had declared no income to HMRC from 2003 until 2009, and between then and 2010 received £25,000 of wages working as an office clerk with a taxi company.