A VETERAN fraudster who operated an international gold coin scam from his Kintbury headquarters walked free from the dock at Reading Crown Court today (Friday).
Howard Del Monte - formerly known as Nigel Goldman- was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment for cheating victims out of nearly £11,000.
But the judge said that, in part because of Del Monte's ill health and apparent remorse, he would suspend the jail term.
Del Monte, aged 58, closed his eyes momentarily but showed no other emotion as the sentence was delivered.
One of his two victims, Newbury businessman Leon Shepherd, was in the public gallery to see justice done
He left without comment after the sentencing hearing this afternoon.
Del Monte, who was evicted from his rented Kintbury home and now lives in a housing association property in the village, once rubbed shoulders with international high flyers, living it up in Spain.
His fall from grace was no less dramatic and he is now a shadow of the international playboy he was once portrayed as.
His glamourous consort throughout the trial, former Inkpen resident Suzanne Couling, is no longer by his side.
For a full report on today's dramatic proceedings, grab a copy of the Newbury Weekly News next Thursday.