Page last updated at 13:17 GMT, Monday, 8 December 2008

Extra jail for millionaire 'thug'

Bronwylfa Hall
Gizzi's mansion has failed to sell, despite its value being cut in half

A convicted gangster has been ordered to serve an extra seven years in jail after failing to repay 2.6m in criminal gains.

Millionaire builder John Gizzi, 36, from St Asaph, Denbighshire, was jailed for five-and-a-half years in 2006.

A receiver was appointed to sell off his assets, but missed a deadline.

His 1.8m mansion has failed to sell despite it halving in price. However, his lawyers are trying to reduce the amount he owes to the court.

This move they hope will lead to the additional seven years being scrapped.

At his trial in January 2006 Gizzi was described as a "thug" and "bully" who assaulted homeless people and preyed on the weak and vulnerable.

He was said by police to have "ruled" Rhyl through threats and intimidations.

He was due to be released before Christmas after serving more than two-and-a-half years.

However, he was also warned by the trial judge that he would have to repay 2.6m or face spending more time in prison.

John Gizzi
John Gizzi was jailed two and a half years ago

That figure was imposed when Gizzi's main asset, Bronwylfa Hall, was valued at about 1.8m.

Since then, the home has failed to sell despite its price being lowered to 900,000.

On Monday, a judge sitting at Llandudno Magistrates court ruled that Gizzi had failed to meet the deadline for repaying the cash, and must now serve an extra 2,712 days behind bars.

But later this month Gizzi's lawyers will ask the court to consider reducing the original proceeds of crime bill faced by the criminal - a moved prompted by the collapse in property prices.

His defence solicitor, Hugh Edwards, told the court the sale of his former home and other properties was now imminent.

If the courts agree to reducing the outstanding 2.3m, and the property sales go through, the additional seven year sentence could be scrapped and Gizzi could be freed before Christmas.

A previous court hearing listed Gizzi's assets as including a Bentley Continental car valued at 116,000 and a Range Rover at 50,000.

He was also said to own a 16,000 Rolex watch and four personalised number plates worth 45,000.

The market price of the mansion has twice been reduced to its 900,000 tag by estate agents.

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