A Neilby man was sentenced to life imprisonment yesterday for forging a 3 x 1.5 meter cheque for £1,234 intended for a local charity. Barry Tangiers, 54, stole the cheque from a photo-shoot for a local newspaper where it was being presented by the Scout troop who raised the money. Bank staff reportedly contacted police when Tangiers attempted to cash the cheque at his local branch with the beneficiary’s (Neilby Beagle Sanctuary) name crossed out and replaced with his own.
The unusually long tariff was imposed due to new legislation stating that custodial sentences for cheque forgery should be directly proportionate to the size of the forged cheque.
Tangiers’ sister Beth commented outside the Court after the sentence was passed: ‘I know our Barry tried to nick that money from a charity, but he’s not exactly a mass murderer is he? He’s not going to be able to apply for parole for 20 years. He might not make it that long.
‘You saw him. He’s not exactly a picture of health. And he doesn’t like hospital food, never mind prison food. Mum had to take his meals in from the KFC when he was in getting his gastric band fitted. She’ll never be able to get a family bucket in past the screws. If you ask me, that magistrate was a right hard faced cow.’
Although presiding magistrate Carol Fleeting was unable to comment about the case, she had told her husband Jim all about it over supper: ‘Did you see the size of that cheque? It was bloody massive,’ he told reporters. ’Carol was just following the new guidelines when she sentenced that little sh*t to life. Mind you, being a magistrate and not a Crown Court judge, she’s not actually entitled to hand down prison sentences of over 12 months, but she’d had a few sherries over lunch and thought: “what the hey!”’