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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 August 2005, 16:37 GMT 17:37 UK
John Thaw book fraudster jailed
John Thaw
John Thaw was probably best known for his role as Inspector Morse
A convicted fraudster who tried to cash in on the death of acting legend John Thaw has been jailed for 15 months.

Donald Vernon Knox Richards, from Liverpool, produced a book in tribute to the Manchester-born actor following his death from cancer in February 2002.

He persuaded contributors to write essays for the book, but they were not paid and Knox Richards later revealed he had been declared bankrupt in 2002.

He was jailed at Liverpool Crown Court for not revealing his financial status.

Knox Richards, of Wellgreen Road, Childwall, had promoted the book, entitled John Thaw: An Appreciation, in a local newspaper.

Record of fraud

The contributors' work amounted to almost 20,000.

When they threatened to sue Knox Richards, who was trading under the title Elius Books, he revealed he had been declared bankrupt in April 2002, owing his creditors 234,381.

He has a record of fraud going back to 1961 and had been sent to prison on several occasions for similar offences.

The latest conviction followed an investigation by the Department of Trade and Industry.

Thaw died at the age of 60 after losing his battle against cancer.

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