Greedy care home owner fails to overturn conviction, but gets shorter sentence

The boss of a Southport care home jailed for 21 years for fraud has failed in an appeal against his conviction.

But David Barton has succeeded in getting his jail term cut from 21 years to 17.

Care home owner Barton preyed on wealthy, elderly residents to fund a lavish lifestyle.

He conned residents at Barton Park Nursing home in Southport out of more than £4m over 16 years.

The 64-year-old was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court in July 2018, for what Judge Steven Everett described as the “most brazen” case of fraud he had ever seen.

But in what is seen as a landmark judgment, he has failed to overturn his conviction.

Barton appealed against his convictions for conspiracy to defraud, fraud, theft, false accounting and money laundering.

His conviction appeal was dismissed.

He also appealed against his sentence , which The Court of Appeal did grant, reducing his term from a total of 21 years’ imprisonment to a total of 17 years.

In today’s case (April 29), the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal gave judgment on the correct test for dishonesty as it applies to all criminal offences in English law, dismissing appeals against conviction.

Benjamin Myers QC and Nicola Daley – both of Exchange Chambers, which has offices in Liverpool and Manchester – appeared on behalf of the prosecution, together with David Perry QC and Katherine Hardcastle of 6KBW College Hill.

This landmark judgment has been given by a five-judge Court presided over by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett of Maldon.

The judgement establishes the correct test to be applied where all offences of dishonesty are concerned in English law, and it modifies the common law of precedent.

It identifies, also, the proper construction of the common law offence of conspiracy to defraud.

Benjamin Myers QC, Nicola Daley and Ray Smith of Exchange Chambers prosecuted the original case at trial in 2018, a case described by the Court of Appeal in its ruling as “an exceptional case involving a high degree of exploitative criminality that was targeted at vulnerable elderly individuals.”

This financial abuse took place over a period of two decades.

The trial ran for 12 months at Liverpool Crown Court, at the conclusion of which David Barton and his general manager, Rosemary Booth, were both convicted by the jury of multiple offences of conspiracy to defraud, and in the case of David Barton, further offences of theft, fraud, false accounting and money laundering.

Booth’s appeal against conviction was also dismissed.