Fake bail email prison escapee Neil Moore jailed

Neil Moore Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Neil Moore handed himself three days after his email trickery worked

A convicted fraudster who tricked prison officers into releasing him has been jailed for seven years.

Wandsworth prisoner Neil Moore, 28, used an illicit mobile phone to create a fake email account to send bail instructions to the prison staff.

He was released on 10 March 2014 and his deception was only uncovered when solicitors went to interview him three days later, only to find him gone.

The prosecution described Moore's behaviour as "ingenious" criminality.

Image copyright Google Maps
Image caption Neil Moore had access to a widely used "illicit" mobile phone to orchestrate his escape

Southwark Crown Court heard Moore set up a website using the address and telephone number of the Royal Courts of Justice.

Posing as a court clerk manager from the incorrectly spelled "Southwalk Crown Court" he sent an email to prison staff claiming he had been granted bail and was released.

After three days of freedom, he handed himself into police, the court heard.

The judge, Recorder David Hunt QC, described the escape as "sophisticated and ingenious".

'Hedonistic lifestyle'

He said: "The way you contrived your escape was potentially more of a threat to the integrity of the prison system, and therefore to the public, than the mere use of brute force."

John Femi-Ole, defending, said Moore committed "sophisticated" frauds to fund a "hedonistic lifestyle" and orchestrated his escape after he and his transgender partner were sent to prison.

Mr Femi-Ole said: "Their relationship became revealed, he tells me, by the guards. It was in these circumstances that he felt he could not tolerate the situation and escaped."

The court was read a letter from Moore in which he said: "I wanted to feel loved and accepted. During the time of these offences I was extremely depressed and unhappy."

Prosecutor Ian Paton said: "A lot of criminal ingenuity harbours in the mind of Mr Moore. The case is one of extraordinary criminal inventiveness, deviousness and creativity, all apparently the developed expertise of this defendant."

Moore, from Ilford, admitted eight counts of fraud in which he posed as staff from banks to dupe major organisations into handing over significant sums of money in frauds worth £1.8m.

Moore also admitted one count of escape from lawful custody.

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