Retired GP fined over suicide threats to financial adviser after £300,000 loss
David Crichton blamed investment adviser Andrew Bolden over losing his pension.
A retired GP has been fined £6,000 for sending suicide threats to his financial adviser who he blamed for losing £300,000 of his pension fund.
Dr David Crichton, of Bournemouth, Dorset, was found guilty at Winchester Crown Court of three charges of malicious communication.
The 64-year-old was also acquitted of attempting to solicit the murder of Andrew Bolden, a pension and wealth investment adviser of private bank Brown Shipley, by ordering a hitman on the dark web.
The court heard that the defendant blamed Mr Bolden for bad advice which, with his own errors, led to him losing £1 million from his pension fund. The financial regulator has ruled that Mr Bolden provided appropriate guidance.
You became self-absorbed in the extreme. You became obsessed with your own feelings and what would make you feel better and not anyone else's feelings, including Mr Bolden's Mr Justice Dingemans
Simon Jones, prosecuting, told the court that Crichton, who suffers from depression, sent hundreds of emails to Mr Bolden causing his address to be blocked.
He said Crichton then sent two text messages and made a telephone call to Mr Bolden, which make up the malicious communication charges, during which he threatened suicide and said: “You are the only person who can help save my life.”
The trial heard that Crichton also accessed the website on the dark web of the “Chechen mob”, where he selected an order to “kill the bastard” with an equivalent cost of 5,000 dollars (£3,800) to be paid in bitcoin, but did not make any payment.
Crichton told the court that he had only filled in the form on the website in order to “clear his head” as part of research to rid himself of suicidal thoughts, but had not intended for the hit to actually happen.
The judge, Mr Justice Dingemans, fined Crichton and ordered him to pay £1,500 of prosecution costs and imposed an injunction on the defendant banning him from contacting Mr Bolden or his colleagues.
He told Crichton his grievance against Mr Bolden had “spiralled out of control”.
He said: “You became self-absorbed in the extreme. You became obsessed with your own feelings and what would make you feel better and not anyone else’s feelings, including Mr Bolden’s.”
He added that Mr Bolden had suffered “distress and anxiety” by Crichton’s actions which had affected his whole family.
Mr Justice Dingemans added: “You had lived an exemplary life and had made a real contribution as a GP and a real contribution to your church and had made great achievements in age-related sports.”
David Wood, defending, said that his client had “lost his good name” following the conviction.
He added: “He is a man much-reduced of what he used to be but he is not a man of violence, he is a man at his heart who has a sense of care and duty.
“He was attempting to address the demons in his own head when nothing the clinical physicians had offered had worked.”
Mr Wood said that as well as his mental health problems, Crichton had suffered a stroke, a pulmonary embolism as well as two serious bicycle crashes.
A Brown Shipley spokesman said: “This has been a very sensitive and extremely difficult matter for our employee, Andy Bolden, and his family.
“So, having supported the authorities throughout the case, we are pleased that it has now concluded.
“We would like to put on record once again that Brown Shipley stands by the quality of the advice Andy gave back in 2012 and to reiterate the fact that the
regulatory authorities confirmed Andy to have given the correct advice.
“The advice was given during Andy’s time at Hampton Dean, a financial planning business, which was later acquired by Brown Shipley in 2015.”