Jury urged to convict family members

Frank Burgon
Frank Burgon

A jury trying four members of the same family accused of helping one of their number evade justice has been urged to find them all guilty.

In his closing speech in the trial of Frank Burgon, George Burgon, Christine Officer and Alison Connor, prosecutor Paul Newcombe said each had told lies about their involvement in Frank Burgon going on the run.

“The evidence is circumstantial,” said Mr Newcombe. “That is often the case in a conspiracy, there are no eye-witnesses as there might be to a robbery or a burglary.

“But circumstantial evidence is still good evidence.”

The jury at Teesside Crown Court heard earlier Frank Burgon is a twice convicted paedophile who fled the country three days before his trial was due to start on the second set of charges he faced.

He spent time on his yacht before turning up ‘out of the blue’ at an apartment in Gran Canaria where his brother, George Burgon, was staying.

George Burgon claimed he intended to bring his brother back home to face justice, but before he could do so Spanish police arrested Frank Burgon.

In a letter from jail in Madrid, Frank Burgon wrote to his partner Christine Officer: “George has got all the money, see if Alison (Connor) can get it back, I never spent what you sent me.”

Mr Newcombe told the jury: “That letter is at the heart of the case.

“In his evidence, Frank Burgon conceded it was accurate apart from the last bit about never spending the money Christine sent me.

“In other words, he conveniently accepts all of it, apart from the bit that drops his partner in it.

“It is also too much of a coincidence that he just managed to turn up in Gran Canaria where his brother was staying - there must have been some pre-planning.”

Hartlepool man Frank Burgon, 79, now of Borough Road, Middlesbrough, George Burgon, 77, and Connor, 52, both of Old Bungalow, Field House Farm, Dalton Piercy, and Officer, 63, of Bruntoft Road, Hartlepool, all deny conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.