Ramsden admits fraud but walks free: Former securities dealer is given two-year suspended sentence

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The Independent Online
TERRY RAMSDEN, the flamboyant securities dealer bankrupted by the collapse of Glen International in 1987, yesterday walked free from the Old Bailey despite pleading guilty to four charges of fraud.

He was given a suspended two-year prison term after Judge Henry Pownall said he bore in mind that Ramsden had gone out of his way to see smaller investors were recompensed and had not hidden behind a corporate veil.

Ramsden's success in trading Japanese warrants briefly made him the 57th richest person in Britain. He spent his money on fast cars and a string of 75 racehorses. He is estimated to have lost pounds 58m in three years through gambling on horses. He also bought a pounds 1m mansion in Blackheath, south-east London, with a hologram machine that threw images of sharks' fins on to the surface of the indoor swimming pool, and a main bedroom dominated by a huge circular bed.

After Glen ran into trouble, Ramsden recklessly and fraudulently attracted pounds 90m from investors, when he knew the company was in a hopeless mess.

Judge Pownall told Ramsden, the son of a postman, that he had built up 'an honest, impressive and phenomenally successful business and that is something of which you can justifiably be very proud'.

Before surrendering himself to the Serious Fraud Office, Ramsden spent six months in a US jail in conditions that the judge described as 'quite appalling'.

In passing sentence, the judge said he had studied medical reports and 'moving' letters from friends and colleagues.

Earlier this year, Tony Cole, the former chairman of Bestwood, also received a two-year suspended prison sentence after admitting misappropriating more than pounds 700,000 from the company and its pension fund.

Anthony Arlidge QC, Ramsden's counsel, said: 'From being a high- flyer and a high-roller, he is now a very broken man.' His 28-year-old wife Lisa had left him and he was receiving treatment for depression. He was living on the charity of friends.

Afterwards, Ramsden, 42, said: 'I have had a very difficult time in my life. I am very glad it's all over.' He refused to answer questions about his creditors.

Ramsden, once chairman and owner of Walsall Football Club, lost his personal fortune, his good name and his family after Glen International collapsed with debts of more than pounds 100m. Judge Pownall said it would be easy to be astonished at the size of the debts but Ramsden had dealt with 'others not unaware of the basic risks'.

(Photograph omitted)