Jeremy Coombs sentenced at Southwark Crown Court
Fraudster Jeremy Coombs has been sentenced to 70 hours of community service and ordered to repay £3,500 to antiques expert Rupert Maas.
Coombs pleaded guilty on March 28 to pocketing an advance of £3,500 from Maas for a new ‘nano-lighting’ system at his Mayfair gallery.
When sentencing, QC Recorder Mullholland took into account the fact that this was Coombs’ first conviction. Coombs was described by the defence as living on income support of £312 a month alongside carer support in a ‘hand-to-mouth’ existence.
A curfew order was considered however the defence argued it would contradict Coombs need to care for his wife, and could cause bureaucratic issues if she needed to be taken to hospital.
The offence was described by QC Mullholland as ‘confidence fraud’.
The defence described Coombs as suffering from depression possibly as a result of his loss of reputation within the lighting community.
The Surrey-based lighting designer had originally been charged with two further counts of fraud, but prosecutors on March 28 asked for the charges to lie on file. It had been claimed Coombs conned David Dallas out of £12,600 after promising to supply lighting systems between September 1 and 30, 2009.
He was also alleged to have used the same ruse to trick art dealers Stoppenbach & Delestre in to parting with £3,400 in November 2009.