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UK fugitive appears after 21 years on the run

Publish date: 15 April 2019
Issue Number: 819
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: General

‘I have cancer, I was trying to get back to the UK for treatment.’ The Independent on Saturday says this was the response by British serial conman and fraudster Brandon Pyatt (64), who was finally caught after evading justice for 21 years. He was convicted on a raft of fraud and deception charges in 1998 but skipped the UK to avoid his five-year jail term. While the charges he faced in SA were the theft of a motor vehicle and/or using a motor vehicle without consent which dated back to a Durban-based case laid in 2014, Pyatt had spent years on the run from UK authorities who had arrested him for defrauding a number of victims of thousands of pounds in the 1990s. This related to a vehicle leasing company he ran in the north-west of England. Pyatt, from Manchester, skipped bail during his trial on charges of fraud and corruption at Chester Crown Court and it is believed he used a number of false identities to evade capture for the next two decades. Facing Magistrate Kevin Bruorton in the Durban Magistrate’s Court last week, Pyatt said he had been caught at OR Tambo International Airport while trying to return home, adding that a warrant of arrest had been issued for him by Interpol for ‘offences committed 25 years ago’. He refused the offer of a lawyer and said he did not want bail, repeating that he wanted to go back to the UK for medical treatment. The magistrate ordered that medical attention be given to him. Pyatt is expected back in court later this month.

Full report in The Independent on Saturday