Wisbech scrapyard boss wants police apology after failed court case costs him �200,000

SCRAPYARD owner Mick Denton is demanding an apology from the police after a failed prosecution left him �200,000 out of pocket.

Mr Denton and a member of his staff were charged with money laundering offences after an undercover police operation and raid on his Wisbech yard in July last year.

But the case against Mr Denton and Jane Goodnew collapsed when the Crown Prosecution Service offered no evidence against them.

Mr Denton says the court case led to �6million worth of his assets being frozen, cost him �107,000 in fees and �80,000 in lost business.

He said: “I think police should apologise, especially to Jane. She has nothing to do with the business so why put her in a cell and drag her through the courts?

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“At the time of the raid there was about 50 police at my house and 50 officers at my Osborne Road yard as if I had done a murder. It must have cost taxpayers �2.5million and my reputation has been damaged.”

Mr Denton, 58, says his assets were frozen for six weeks after the raid, leaving him unable to sell goods at his two yards or sell the six houses he owns.

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While his assets were frozen, Mr Denton had to live on �200 a week, and he was unable to pay his bills.

“I had to spend �107,000 in legal fees to prove my innocence,” he said. “I am hoping to get some of that back, but I had to find the money up front.”

The eight charges of attempting to conceal, disguise or remove criminal property facing Mr Denton, and two similar charge facing 51-year-old Ms Goodnew were in relation to cable bought from an undercover police officer.

Mr Denton says he bought around �860 worth of cable from the officer in eight separate transactions.

He said: “We have been in scrap metal recycling for 20 years, and I have never had a conviction; the police have never found anything stolen in this yard.

“I don’t buy stolen items, the police can come into our yard at any time. We always take ID from people we deal with.

“I can understand the police coming into our yard, but don’t send in an undercover officer to set me up. It was ridiculous.

“They thought we were involved in money laundering. They thought they were going to find a lot of stolen cable, but they came out emptied handed.”

Ms Goodnew said: “This was the first time I had been arrested, I had never had a parking ticket before.”

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire police said: “Following a ruling by the court, the police and the Crown Prosecution Service made the decision that it was not in the public interest to pursue with the prosecution. We would urge anyone who has a complaint about police to contact us directly.”

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