Businessman Gary Bolton jailed for seven years over fake bomb detectors

The Old Bailey heard that the devices were nothing more than plastic boxes with antennae attached

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The Independent Online

A businessman who sold fake bomb detectors around the world has been handed a seven year jail sentence for making and supplying fake bomb detectors.

Gary Bolton, 47, denied two counts of fraud but was convicted by a jury at the Old Bailey last month.

Bolton sold the devices to international clients for up to £10,000 each, boasting that they could detect explosives, narcotics, ivory, tobacco and even money.

Instead the Old Bailey heard that they were just boxes with handles attached and antennae.

Tests conducted showed the GT200 devices cost less than £5 to make and were no better at detection than random chance. Despite this, Bolton has continued to market and sell them across the globe.

But a judge at the Old Bailey described the equipment as "useless" and "dross".

Sentencing the father-of-three today, judge Richard Hone QC said Bolton had maintained the "little plastic box" was a piece of working equipment, and that he continued to "peddle" it to scores of international clients - including for use by armed forces - despite evidence proving it was "useless".

He added: "You were determined to bolster the illusion that the devices worked and you knew there was a spurious science to produce that end.

"They had a random detection rate. They were useless.

"Soldiers, police officers, customs officers and many others put their trust in a device which worked no better than random chance.

"The jury found you knew this but you carried on. Your profits were enormous."

Additional reporting by PA