Bitumen bandit behind bars

A NOTORIOUS fraudster is now behind bars on the Mid North Coast.

Irish conman Marcus Barney, also known as Alan Tony Harte, is serving four months in Kempsey jail after fronting local court on Monday.

He was arrested at Macksville on July 7 after Queensland police circulated details of his alias.

Fair Trading Minister Anthony Roberts said Barney was "a typical bitumen bandit with a record of wrongdoing and no regard for Australian or international laws".

Appearing as Alan Tony Harte, Barney was convicted on 10 charges and will serve his sentences concurrently as follows:

  • two charges related to providing false information upon entering the country (four months for both);
  • one charge related to possession of a fraudulent passport (four months);
  • one charge relating to unlawful possession of some RM Williams brand clothing (one month);
  • one charge related to possession of items including a driver's licence, a birth certificate and a Centrelink card in a false name - Nathan Mason (three months);
  • one charge related to possession of a Westpac Mastercard in a woman's name (two months);
  • one charge related to possession of a Medicare card in a false name - Nathan Mason (three months);
  • one charge related to possession of a fraudulent Western Australia driver's licence in the name of Alan Tony Harte (one month);
  • one charge related to possession of a fraudulent Tasmanian driver's licence in the name of Nathan Mason (one month); and
  • one charge related to possession of an Apple iPad, unlawfully obtained (one month).

Fair Trading said Marcus Barney was convicted in the UK of the death of a woman driver following a road race in 2007 between Barney and his brother. She was about to be married.

UK newspaper the Leicester Mercury reported the story and helped with the Australian arrest by providing information to Fair Trading regulators in NSW.

The paper reported Barney failed to return to the prison from day leave in 2009 and was wanted by authorities.

He is due for release from jail on November 6 and it is expected British police will seek his extradition on that day. A warrant from the UK police is expected to be served on him by NSW police when he is released. He would then be expected to appear again in Kempsey Local Court on November 7.



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