Not guilty: sons of OAP swindler Bar­ton

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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

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