Doncaster serial smuggler is caught red handed

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A serial smuggler from Doncaster who tried to sneak more than 50,000 contraband cigarettes into the country has been handed 270 hours of unpaid work.

Bradley Mark Curran, aged 51, of Beckett Road, Wheatley, had tried to evade paying more than £10,000 in duty over three foiled smuggling attempts.

In April 2011, Curran was caught with 46,140 cigarettes in his bags at Manchester Airport, evading more than £9,000 in duty.

He was caught again in November 2011 at Birmingham Airport with more than 4,000 cigarettes.

And on the third occasion he was stopped at Doncaster Airport in April this year with 2,000 cigarettes – trying to avoid paying more than £2,000 in duty.

David Baines, prosecuting at Doncaster Magistrates’ Court, said: “On each of the occasions the defendant was stopped by an employee of HMRC.

“On the first occasion, he claimed not to be aware of the laws about bringing certain goods to the UK without paying duty.

“On the second occasion the defendant was stopped at Birmingham Airport coming back from Gambia.

“One suitcase was searched and a total of 4,160 cigarettes were found.

“On the third occasion, at Doncaster, the defendant was on a flight from Tenerife. Two thousand cigarettes were found.”

Ross Wagstaff, defending, said Curran lives alone and got a job in August working nights at a warehouse after being unemployed for three years.

He added: “On three separate occasions he has brought cigarettes into the country and he is perhaps fortunate that on the first occasion he was given a warning.

“Unfortunately, having gone away with friends, temptation has got the better of him but it was nothing like the value he had brought back on the first occasion.

“A lesson has been learned now.”

Curran pleaded guilty to fraudulently evading duty and was sentenced to 270 hours of unpaid work and must pay £85 costs and a £60 surcharge.

District Judge Jonathan Bennett said: “It’s difficult to persuade me that you have learned your lesson.

“This is fraudulent and of course it’s multiple frauds and it’s committed over a period of time.”

n To report smuggling contact 0800 595 000.