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Two fraudulent criminals ordered to pay back over £200,000

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Fraudulent criminal duo Ayaz Siddique (left) and Deepankar Dixit (right) who stole thousands must pay money back. (Credit: Northumbria Police)

Two fraudulent criminals who stole thousands of pounds during their role as solicitors have been ordered to pay back more than £200,000.

Ayaz Siddique, 49, and Deepankar Dixit, 39, used a range of deceptive and co-ordinated tactics to fraudulently steal thousands of pounds whilst working at a solicitor’s office in Newcastle.

The pair funnelled money into a cash account they kept outside the business where Siddique was a Director.

An investigation led to the arrest and subsequent conviction of both Siddique, of Milvain Avenue, Fenham, Newcastle, and Dixit, of Springhill Gardens, Newcastle, in December 2019.

However, officers from the North East Regional Economic Crime Unit (RECU) weren’t satisfied.

RECU were determined that justice to the fullest extent needed to be served and their efforts helped lead to the duo being ordered to pay back a total of £205,000.

Detective Sergeant Thomas Maughan said: “Both Siddique and Dixit showed a blatant disregard for their professional obligations. Each of them acted outside the law and have now lost their status as solicitors.

“This has been months of hard work by an incredibly persistent and committed team of fraud and financial investigators and I want to thank them all for their contributions that have led to this successful outcome at court.

“This investigation shows that jail time isn’t the only form of justice that convicted offenders face. We will also seek to strip them of any assets and financial gain that their criminality has provided them – crime really doesn’t pay.”

Whilst Siddique and Dixit were serving jail time for false accounting, officers from RECU were pulling together a case under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

This looked at their financial activity prior to the offending, assessed the value of their assets and calculated what value each of them had illegally obtained through their criminal activity.

Appearing at Leeds Crown Court last Wednesday and Thursday, as part of Confiscation Orders granted by a judge, the duo were ordered to put their hands in their pockets and pay back hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Failing to adhere to the order could result in them facing a further jail term.

Detective Sergeant Maughan added: “This work is part of our continued efforts under the banner of Operation Sentinel to tackle and disrupt serious and organised crime.

“We are committed to bringing effective justice against any individual who believes themselves to be above the law and who carry out any form of unlawful activity in our communities.”

 

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Best of North East

Stag and Hen ideas in Newcastle upon Tyne!

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Bubble Football Newcastle upon Tyne

Whether you’re a local or planning a trip North for a stag/hen weekend trip, Newcastle is the ideal city to celebrate. There’s so much to do in the city, from a great variety of places to eat and drink, fun nights out, to ample day-time activities! Here’s a list of some of the best stag and hen ideas to pack into your stag/hen weekend in Newcastle upon Tyne, some traditional and some slightly more unique…

1/ Dance classes

 

https://www.dancecity.co.uk/hire-space/hen-parties/

 

Dance City in Newcastle offers amazing Hen and Stag party experiences that ensure you’ll be spending quality time with your friends before the big day. They offer a variety of different classes to suit everyone!

 

Try their ‘Come fly with us’ experience, for 2 hours learning how to create shapes on the trapeze, dance in the cocoons, use the silks and spin in the hoop! Or you could try their burlesque workshops and street dance classes. Their musical theatre experience provides the bride-to-be an opportunity to choose a song to perform with her friends, ready to be showcased on the big day!

 

It’s guaranteed to be a fun-packed day.

 

2/ NE Bubble football

 

https://nebubblefootball.co.uk/bubblefootball.php

 

Bubble Football Newcastle upon Tyne

 

If you want to get you and your friends involved in a hilarious, must-try activity, then try out Bubble Football, only 10 minutes away from Newcastle City centre. All players are put into zorbs and games are taught by a qualified instructor. You can compete against each other in tournaments and choose between the standard 60-minute options or up to the 120 minute option.

 

It’s a great activity to involve all your friends in a day-time activity to remember. They also offer goggle football (https://nebubblefootball.co.uk/gogglefootball.php) which is another great, alternative activity to try out – perfect for stag and hen dos, and combat archery.

 

This cross between dodgeball and paintball (using bows and foam tipped arrows) is a fun activity pitting groups against each other in an intense game with inflatable bunkers to hide behind.

 

It’s another great team-building activity, enabling you to spend quality time with friends and make some hilarious memories. (https://nebubblefootball.co.uk/combatarchery.php)

3/ Cocktail making classes

Image credit: Instagram (@lolajeansnewcastle)

For a social day-time activity guaranteed to start off an evening of drinking and celebrating perfectly, get yourself and your friends to a cocktail making class!

 

There are absolutely loads to choose from in Newcastle, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

 

 

Plus many more…

 

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Best of North East

Where to stay in the North East – North East Accommodation – Best places to stay

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You don’t need to travel abroad to enjoy a relaxing and well-deserved break. The North East is home to a beautiful coastline and expansive countryside, castles and historical landmarks, lakes and reservoirs, scenic towns and villages and ample wildlife. It makes the perfect location for a weekend retreat (or a full week retreat). Ranging from action-packed holidays to romantic spa escapes, we’ve collated a list of the best hotels and places to stay in the North East to explore the fantastic, local environment. This way, you can enjoy some time off without having a crush your belongings into tiny carry-on suitcases and deal with long airport queues.

Trees at Tughall

Image credit: Instagram (@trees_at_tughall)

Image credit: Instagram (@trees_at_tughall)

(https://www.treesattughall.com)

For a true break from the city (but only an accessible hours drive from Newcastle) stay in the Trees and Tughall contemporary cabins in the Northumberland countryside. There are three cabins to choose from, Ash, Willow, and Hawthorne, each with wood burning stoves, king size beds, window seats to take in the expansive woodland views, fire pits and a covered decking. The cabins provide a perfect minimalist space to break away from the bustle of modern life and enjoy the countryside undisturbed.

Only a 30minute walk from Beadnell beach and a 30 minute drive into the cheviots, you can immerse yourself in the beautiful surroundings, and on the plus side, these cabins are ideal any time of year.

The Cookie Jar Alnwick

Image credit: Instagram (@thecookiejaralnwick)

Image credit: Instagram (@thecookiejaralnwick)

(https://www.cookiejaralnwick.com)

This boutique style hotel, located in the medieval market town of Alnwick, is a luxurious, cosy retreat. A highlight is the two-tier terrace and garden where you can enjoy cocktails with friends whilst listening to gentle house background music.

There are 11, uniquely named and entirely individual bedrooms, each ranging in character and size so you can choose which one is perfect for you. It also has its own kennels, so you don’t have to leave your dogs behind!

The hotel is well placed in the Northumberland countryside so you can enjoy lots of outdoor activities. From golf to shooting, stargazing to fishing, horse-riding to walking the multiple different trails, there’s so much to do! After an exhausting day exploring in the fresh air, you can retire to the cosy hotel and enjoy delicious locally sourced food from their bistro.

 

 

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Best of North East

TOP 5 SUNDAY ROASTS IN THE NORTH EAST

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Autumn is well and truly upon us, which means it’s also the perfect time of year for a comforting Sunday roast. There is nothing more welcoming than a warming Sunday lunch to cope with the darker, cooler nights. The North East has plenty of great spots for you to try and we’ve highlighted some of the most popular and most delicious.

BRANCHES

Image credit: instagram (@branchesrestaurant)

First up is Branches, a restaurant on the popular Osborne Road in Jesmond. They offer a contemporary elegant dining experience in their stylish, modern dining room with high quality produce sourced from local suppliers (all their meat for the Sunday dinners is sourced from a family farm and butcher that farms in Nidderdale, Moors and Vales.)

 

Their Sunday lunch menu is priced at £19.95 for one course, £29.95 for 2 and £31.95 for three courses. The main Sunday roasts come with crispy duck fat roast potatoes, freshly made Yorkshire puddings, cauliflower cheese and lots of vegetables. They offer chicken breast, beef, pork loin and also butternut squash risotto as a vegetarian option.

 

Finish off your delicious Sunday roast with a traditional and comforting British classic, sticky toffee pudding. Or, try out their blackberry and fig cheesecake complete with cinnamon marmalade, blackberry compote and spiced baby figs.

 

Their menu is also updated and changed regularly.

 

NEST

Image credit: Instagram (@toonfatladies)

Next is Nest, offering indulgent dining in a relaxing and comfortable environment. They specialise in tasting menus throughout the week but offer roast dinners between 12-4pm on Sundays. Two courses are priced at £20 whilst three courses are £25. The restaurant can be found on Chillingham road in Heaton.

 

As well as offering the traditional beef, lamb, and pork Sunday lunches, they also offer different options for those in your group who don’t fancy a roast. These include handmade ricotta tortellini and pan-seared stone bass.

Nest are also renowned for their wine menu, collaborating with an excellent wine supplier, they have lots of interesting wines to enjoy with your Sunday roast.

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