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Monday, August 21, 2006

"Fire Alarm" Neil McNamara's April Jail Sentence

A (non-QPR related) news item from April re "Hotel Fire Alarm" Neil Macnamara which didn't at the time get noticed by QPR Report.

BBC - April 1, 2006
Ex-minder is jailed for tax dodge

An ex-minder of Cardiff City FC's owner has been jailed for using fake business names to avoid a £100,000 tax bill.

Cardiff Crown Court heard Neil MacNamara paid no income tax, national insurance or VAT on money for providing security services to pubs and clubs.

McNamara, 42, from Nantgarw, south Wales was sacked in 2002 as Sam Hammam's bodyguard after it emerged he was a convicted football hooligan.

He was jailed for a year after admitting cheating the Inland Revenue.

Prosecutor Timothy Godfrey told the court on Friday that MacNamara "was in effect cloning the identity of four legitimate companies.

"He issued invoices in these companies' names but the company addresses were false."

The offence is so serious you will have to go to prison.
Judge David Wynn Morgan

Mr Godfrey said that over three tax years, between 2000 and 2003, MacNamara had made a profit of more than £160,000.

The interest on his unpaid tax bill had now reached £17,000 bringing the total owed to the Inland Revenue to £117,000. MacNamara pleaded guilty to four counties of cheating the Inland Revenue.

Defending, Richard Twomlow, said the father-of-three did not profit very much from his fraud.

"He is not a rich man," he said. "He owes money and did not become wealthy from this scheme."

In 1999 MacNamara began working for security firm Unisec but his employment ceased after "widespread and unfair coverage" of a criminal damage conviction, Mr Twomlow said.

MacNamara was found guilty in 2003 of causing criminal damage and giving a false fire alarm at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport.

The life-long Cardiff City football fan was given a five-year match ban after magistrates in Abergavenny decided that the crime was intended to disrupt rivals Queens Park Rangers before their play-off game against Cardiff City.

But after his appeal Cardiff Crown Court later said there was insufficient evidence to prove the incident was connected to football and lifted the ban.

Mr Twomlow said MacNamara had decided to set up a legitimate company, Guardian Security, after he was jailed in 2002 for six months for driving a stolen sports car and for possession of a can of CS gas.

'Sophisticated cover'

But the court was told the Inland Revenue was already investigating MacNamara's business dealings and he was arrested in 2004.

MacNamara was sacked from the Cardiff City security team when details of his previous convictions emerged in 2002.

Judge David Wyn Morgan told MacNamara: "The offence is so serious you will have to go to prison.

"It was a relatively sophisticated cover using the names of legitimate companies to keep £100,000 of the Inland Revenue's money."



From BBC June 19, 2003
Ex-soccer minder admits hoax
"...A former minder of Cardiff City Football Club owner Sam Hammam has admitted setting off a fire alarm in the hotel where a rival team was sleeping before a crucial match.
Neil MacNamara, 39, of Nantgarw, south Wales, set off a fire alarm at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, in the early hours of 25 May.
Queens Park Rangers players were staying at the hotel before their Division Two play-off final against Cardiff at the Millennium Stadium later that day.
MacNamara pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage and giving a false fire alarm.
But he denied the offence was football-related in the hearing at Newport Magistrates Cour.
Paul Moore, prosecuting, said: "There will be legal argument as to whether the offence was football-related.
"It will be the prosecution's suggestion this was football-related and we will invite a banning order.
"This will be opposed by the defence."
He was released on unconditional bail to reappear at the court on 16 July, when another hearing will decide whether the hoax was aimed at the QPR players.
Some 200 people had to leave the Celtic Manor while the alarm was investigated.
The QPR players were able to stay inside as they were sleeping in a different wing of the hotel.
The alarm went off at 0300 BST, 12 hours before QPR's play-off final kicked off at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, which the London team lost 1-0 in extra time. ...

And the Celtic Manor Hotel

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