Wronged investors in shock as fraudster’s sentencing is halted

A CONVICTED fraudster had his sentencing in Jersey abruptly adjourned yesterday after it emerged at the 11th hour that he is helping Guernsey authorities with the investigation into Providence.

Christopher Byrne.
Christopher Byrne.

Christopher Paul Byrne has been in La Moye prison since 13 September after he was found guilty of fraud-related charges which saw island investors lose over £3m. to what the court has heard was an international Ponzi scheme.

But after a four-hour hearing, before a court packed with wronged investors, the sentencing was adjourned after defence advocate Olaf Blakeley revealed that the former managing director of Lumiere Wealth is helping Guernsey police.

Advocate Blakeley argued in his final mitigating statements that Byrne should be entitled to a discount on any sentence of ‘at least 30%’.

Mr Blakeley told the court he had only received confirmation from Guernsey Police of the usefulness of Byrne’s statements early yesterday morning.

After considering the matter briefly, Commissioner Sir John Saunders said he had no choice but to adjourn the matter to properly substantiate the assistance Byrne is giving Guernsey.

Sir John apologised to the Jersey-based investors who lost lifesavings and pensions to Byrne’s offending for the delays.

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