Not guilty: sons of OAP swindler Barton
THE sons of an evil care home owner, who stole more than £4m from elderly residents, have been cleared of money laundering.
David Barton senior, 64, cheated OAPs out of their life savings at luxurious Barton Park Nursing Home, which he then owned in Oxford Road, Southport.
The crooked businessman was convicted after the longest trial in the history of Liverpool Crown Court – lasting more than a year.
Barton snr, of Oxford Road, who befriended then betrayed his wealthy and vulnerable victims, was jailed for 21 years in July.
The court heard he used his two sons’ bank accounts to try and hide £130,000 of dirty cash from the police to keep his business afloat.
Former Tory councillor for Sefton Council, David Richard Barton, 28, and his brother David Charles Barton, 25, denied money laundering.
They stood trial alongside Barton snr over a series of transactions, involving their student bank accounts, between September and October, 2015.
But their case was split from their dad’s midway through the trial, due to Judge Steven Everett’s concerns about the evidence against them.
Ex-Southport Dukes Ward councillor David Richard, and David Charles, both of Oxford Road, were set to face trial again in January.
However, after reviewing the case, prosecutors decided to offer no evidence against David Charles, who was formally found not guilty.
And now, following a submission of no case to answer by David Richard’s defence lawyers, a judge ruled that he should also be acquitted.
Barton snr was found guilty of five fraud offences, three counts of theft, false accounting and transferring criminal property.
Company directors David Richard and David Charles were never alleged to have been involved in his despicable crimes against the residents, but in his attempts to squirrel away illgotten gains.
Barton snr sold a Rolls-Royce Corniche worth £150,000 to one victim, Patricia Anderson-Scott, at the “criminally inflated” value of £500,000. When she died, aged 94, he stole back the car – which never left his garage then sold it for £150,000 in July, 2015, paying £10,000 commission.
The remaining £140,000 was paid into his bank account, which was overdrawn by about £10,000, meaning he was left with around £130,000.
He later transferred £62,000 to David Richard, whose account previously held around £7,000, and £60,000 to David Charles, whose account held £3,000.
David Richard received a further £7,000 from another one of his dad’s accounts, which contained more than £1m after Barton snr flogged four Ferraris. The ex-politician also received £30,000 from his brother’s account, meaning £92,000 was credited to him in just 10 days.
Around £88,000 was then transferred from David Richard’s account to Choice Classic Ltd (CCL), the business under which Barton Park traded. David Richard had never transferred money to CCL before, and £10,860 of untraceable cash withdrawals were also made from his account.
The £30,000 left in David Charles’ account was moved to CCL in two transfers. Prior to this, he, too, had never transferred money to CCL.
Prosecutors said evidence showed the sons both knew of the police investigation and alleged they must have been aware of restraints on their dad’s assets.
However, as the first trial unfolded, Judge Everett said it emerged there was no evidence they knew or suspected the Rolls-Royce was stolen, or had entered into any arrangement with their dad.
David Barton snr: cheated pensioners Above right, younger brother David Charles Barton
Above left and left, the former councillor David Richard Barton