£145,000 found in Birkby house by murder squad cops
Jan 30 2010 by Joanne Douglas, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
Man jailed for three years for deception and fraud
A HUDDERSFIELD mum has been given a suspended jail term after police found more than £145,000 stashed at her house.
The cash belonged to fraudster Owen Bell, who was yesterday jailed for three years.
Just weeks ago, the 34-year-old was found not guilty of shooting a man dead at a Bradford nightclub.
Police raided the Norman Road house in August 2008 after linking the occupant, Donna Powell, to Bell during their investigation into the murder of Damian Gordon, who was shot twice in the back outside Club Icon on Westgate in the city.
Inside the property, they stumbled across two security boxes and astonished police officers opened them discovering each contained a whopping £50,000.
They found more cash secreted in other places around the house.
Forensic teams also discovered a CS gas canister inside Powell's house.
The 35-year-old mum, who now lives at Woodhouse Hill, Fartown, said the cash and boxes had been brought to her home by Bell because he said his relationship had broken down and he had nowhere else to keep the money.
She said the CS gas was for self protection and she had forgotten it was in the house.
The discovery of the cash, which was also tainted with traces of heroin, prompted a police inquiry into Bell’s financial affairs and it emerged he had made up a job earning more than £40,000-a-year in order to obtain a £170,000 mortgage advance for a house in Stockport.
He later made a similar application for a re-mortgage and although he had not filed any tax returns between 2002 and 2007 a bank account showed unexplained deposits of nearly £42,000 between March 2003 and July 2008.
Prosecutor Elyas Patel told Bradford Crown Court money from that account was being used to make the remortgage payments
Bell, of Marlborough Road, Salford, admitted charges of concealing criminal property, acquiring criminal property, obtaining a money transfer by deception and fraud.
Powell, who admitted concealing criminal property and possessing a prohibited weapon, was given a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years.
She must also do 200 hours unpaid work for the community.