Somerset

Somerset PR man spared jail after tax fraud

Richard Hillgrove Image copyright PA
Image caption Richard Hillgrove was handed a 15-month suspended jail term

A public relations adviser has been handed a suspended jail term of 15 months after being found guilty of a £93,000 tax fraud.

Richard Hillgrove, 42, of Somerton, Somerset, had denied cheating the public revenue over a 12-month period.

The sentence was handed down at Bristol Crown Court after a three-week trial in March.

Recorder Robert Linford said: "You were servicing a lifestyle that you simply couldn't afford."

During the trial the jury was told that Hillgrove had pocketed £52,000 of VAT charged to his customers, and £41,000 in taxes deducted from his employees' wages in 2011 and 2012.

He spent the money on hotels, restaurants and school fees.

Hillgrove was also ordered to pay £5,000 towards prosecution costs and complete 200 hours of unpaid work.

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