October 30, 2017

A man who posed as a private investigator in an attempt to take money from the families of victims who had died abroad has been jailed for ten years.

Simon Delow, aka Simon De’Gresser, 48, from Gloucester, pleaded guilty to ten counts of fraud by misrepresentation and was sentenced at Durham Crown Court on Friday, 27 October 2017.

He claimed his company could deploy teams of investigators to relevant countries, and was hired by three grieving families to investigate the deaths of their children who had died abroad.

Two of his victims were Ray and Pat Martin from Sutton-in-Ashfield, whose daughter, Claire Martin, died in Italy in March 2012.

Ray said: “It is very difficult to deal with the death of a child, especially in such circumstances and this was made even more difficult with the fact that it happened in a foreign country, where it is difficult to get information about the investigation and legal processes.

“The investigation into Claire’s death is still on-going and as you can imagine, it has been a very difficult time for us.

“Simon Delow took advantage of our vulnerability and offered to help. Little did we know the deceit, lies and despicable behaviour he would stoop to in order to try to obtain money from us.

“Our plight to find justice for Claire has been extremely stressful, frustrating and traumatic, and I feel that Delow tried to manipulate us in our extremely vulnerable position.”

Fortunately the Martins did not part with money to Delow.

Detective Chief Inspector Karen Pearson said: “Delow took advantage of the vulnerability of the victims in this case in an attempt not to help them but to make money. His behaviour is inexcusable and I am pleased he has now been jailed. Even though the Martins did not part with any money he still took advantage of them at a hugely distressing time.”

The Martin family is being supported by specially trained officers as the investigation into Claire’s death continues.