A conman is still on the run six months after he was jailed in his absence by an Oxford judge.

Simon Levy, who celebrated his 57th birthday last month while at large, flouted a company director ban by helping to set up upmarket chip shop brand Come Fry With Me with an ex-banker.

He had been on day release from an earlier prison sentence when he met the entrepreneur’s boyfriend.

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Judge Michael Gledhill QC branded Levy, of Charlwood Close, Harrow, a ‘fraudster and a conman’ when he jailed him in his absence for four years and four months in October last year.

The con artist, who has convictions on both sides of the Atlantic, was already at large when jurors at Oxford Crown Court took two hours to convict him of breaching a serious crime prevention order and contravening an order disqualifying him from acting as a company director.

By the time of his trial last autumn he had been out of contact with his solicitors for several months.

The part-time cabaret singer and self-proclaimed business expert had a colourful past, with convictions on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

In 2013, an Oxford judge jailed him for three years for running a luxury goods business under an alias and despite being an undischarged bankrupt. A serious crime prevention order imposed as part of that sentenced required him to explain any spending of more than £200 to the police.

Last year, the court heard Levy had used the name 'David Michaels'. It was under the same name that, in 2016, he released a ‘Live in London’ cabaret album  - covering songs including the Duke Ellington hit ‘Don’t Get Around Much Anymore’.

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Sentencing, Judge Gledhill said: “This is a man with a string of serious offences of dishonesty. He is a fraudster and a conman. He’s been appearing before the courts as we’ve just heard from 1983.”

Following the trial, officer in the case DC Grahame Lea appealed for any information that would lead police to Levy.

He said: “In this case Levy was sentenced in his absence, he is as a result wanted by the Court and we would ask anyone who has information as to his whereabouts to please come forward and call Thames Valley Police on 101.

“He is known to the Harrow area of London and he also uses another name of David Michaels.”

The detective added: “Levy was evasive and knew that the activity he undertook was in clear breach of the serious crime prevention order place on him by the courts.”

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.  

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward