A Wellington conman who stole over £100,000 to enjoy a millionaire lifestyle by stealing other people’s identities has been ordered to repay just £1,551.22. He is already in prison but his partner in crime Cathryn Russell may go to gaol if she doesn’t pay back a similar sum.
Kevin Castle followed post office vans on their rounds through country lanes around the Blackdowns and stole personal letters from isolated farms and homes with letterboxes at the ends of their drives.
He used his horde of stolen documents to apply for credit cards which he intercepted from the letter boxes and used to run up huge debts in other people’s names.
Castle lived in a five bedroomed luxury farmhouse with 11 acres of land at West Buckland, where he and his partner Cathryn Russell had a stable with six horses.
The home was decorated with expensive designer furniture and equipped with the latest wide screen televisions and sound systems, all bought on credit or with other people’s cards.
Castle, aged 47, is one of Britain’s best known conmen, who has lived in the past by posing as a Porsche-driving, Armani-wearing millionaire and preying on rich women at top London hotels.
Castle was jailed for four years at Exeter Crown Court in April last year after admitting 26 counts of fraud, one of stealing the mail and acquiring criminal property.
Mother-of-three Russell admitted four counts of fraud and was given a community sentence and ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work.
Russell returned to Exeter Crown Court last week but Castle was not produced from jail as the Proceeds of Crime case against the pair was settled.
Judge Francis Gilbert, QC, assessed Castle’s benefit from crime as £108,254.50 and Russell’s as £5,604.50 but assessed the available amount as £3,102.44 and ordered each to pay £1,551.22 or face 45 days in prison in default.