Cumbria

Peter Farquhar fails in appeal over cigarette fraud

A former Cumbrian train driver jailed for running a £200,000 cigarette fraud from his home in Thailand has failed in a bid to get his sentence reduced.

Peter Farquhar was convicted in July of money laundering, conspiring to avoid import tax on cigarettes and conspiring to import prohibited steroids.

The 53-year-old, formerly of Briscoe Crescent, Whitehaven, was jailed for three years and nine months.

Judges at the Appeal Court rejected his claim that his sentence was excessive.

During his trial at Carlisle Crown Court, the jury heard that Farquhar also claimed £14,000 in disability benefit while living in "the lap of luxury" in Thailand.

He had denied all charges, saying that he was a successful gambler and the money was winnings from bets his friends had placed on his behalf, because gambling was illegal in Thailand.

Rejecting his bid to have his jail term reduced, judges said that he had pulled others into a "well-planned conspiracy" which netted him £74,000 and involved a substantial loss to the public purse.

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