November 20, 2010

Pub landlord is jailed for forging signature

A pub landlord and parliamentary candidate for the British National Party has been jailed for forging a signature to assist the sale of a Northumberland hotel.

Peter Mailer, 54, had used his former manager’s signature to push through the £245,000 sale of the Hen and Chickens Hotel, in Berwick.

Mailer, who stood as a BNP candidate in Berwick in this year’s General Election, was jailed for 18 months yesterday after jurors found him guilty of forgery offences last month. Newcastle Crown Court heard how Mailer had been ordered to pay Trudy Waugh £5,600 compensation after she won a tribunal case against him for unfair dismissal after he took over ownership of the pub in 1999.

A county court charge was later put on the hotel when Mailer failed to pay up in the years that followed, Newcastle Crown Court heard. That meant the business in Berwick could not be sold while the charge was still in place. But Mailer passed the hotel to his brother in August 2006 for £245,000, the court heard.

Mailer, from Bricksheds, Belford, had used his former manager’s signature to push through the sale of the Hen and Chickens Hotel. And when an accountant began to investigate the outstanding compensation, it was discovered that two key documents had been forged with Ms Waugh’s signature.

Jailing him, Judge Roger Thorn QC told Mailer: “One of the most serious aspects of this case is your continuous scheming to subvert the course of justice. To this day Ms Waugh has not received a penny from you. You forged the document to the Land Registry and entered in bogus agreements. This demonstrates a nasty side of your character and your meanness.”

Mailer, who was convicted of forgery and using a false instrument by a majority verdict last month, bowed his head as the judge jailed him before looking at his equally devastated family.

The first offence involves an allegation he produced a bogus written agreement between himself and Ms Waugh. The second relates to an official Land Registry form saying the county court “charge” had been removed, the court heard. Mailer was arrested last November after the documents were passed to police.

Tony Davis, defending, said: “There is no one more humiliated than him. He has been incarcerated for 39 days now on remand and it has been awful. It has been a shock to his system.”

Mailer will now face a proceeds-of-crime hearing in an effort to claw back some of his ill-gotten gains. He was also stripped of his other pub licences.

Journal Live

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