BOXING promoter Barry Hughes has been fined £45,000 after appeal court judges quashed his 43-month jail sentence for mortgage fraud and money laundering.

The 35-year-old was jailed for three and a half years in March after pleading guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court to illegally obtaining £1.2 million for two mortgages.

Loading article content

He was also convicted of laundering £150,000 and using some of the cash to buy a designer Rolex watch.

But yesterday, at the Court Of Criminal Appeal, Edinburgh, judges Lord Carloway, Lord Brodie and Lord Philip set aside the jail sentence.

They did so after hearing defence QC Gordon Jackson say nobody lost any money due to his client's actions. The lawyer told the court the jail sentence was not proportionate to the exact nature of the offence. The judges agreed and ruled the father of five should pay a fine instead.

As he left court, Hughes hugged his wife Jacqueline and said: "I want to concentrate on looking forward and getting on with my life."

Hughes, of Kilmacolm, Renfrewshire, had been allowed to leave jail temporarily after judges granted him interim liberation following a hearing earlier this year.

At the Glasgow Sheriff Court proceedings, Hughes admitted lying on mortgage applications about his wife's income in 2004 for one property in Bridge Of Weir and in November 2006 for a second house in Kilmacolm.

He claimed his 37-year-old wife made £160,000 from her business McDonald Interiors. The mortgages were then approved. But the court heard that papers lodged by her in 2006 stated she was "financially dependent" on her husband. This meant Mr Hughes had obtained the money fraudulently.

Prosecutors are still taking Hughes to court in an attempt to win cash from him using Proceeds Of Crime laws.