on 18:13

Midland poker ace Jonny ‘Texas’ Hewston escapes jail over court fines – as other creditors chase him.

Nov 29 2009 by Adam Aspinall, Sunday Mercury

A POKER champ has narrowly escaped jail after being arrested for failing to pay court fines – but is now being chased by a string of other creditors.

Flamboyant card ace Jonny ‘Texas’ Hewston appeared before magistrates in Cannock, Staffordshire, for non-payment of motoring fines totalling £2,772. The larger-than-life player was facing a possible three-month sentence – but left the court a free man when his wife pulled the cash out of her handbag.

But Hewston, 47, is facing more court action and a probe into one of his companies, Imperial Driveways.
Trading Standards are investigating complaints from consumers who claim they paid the poker player or his company to work on their drives – but are still waiting.

Neil and Suzanne Fletcher forked out a £750 deposit to Imperial Driveways. Eight months on and no work has taken place at their Cannock home – and they have been unable to find Hewston.
Neil, 34, said: “I feel stupid, but he was so plausible. He came across as a real big-shot. We have a young child and, frankly, have given up hope of seeing the cash or Hewston again. We’ve sacrificed our holiday and it won’t be much of a Christmas either.”

Mr Fletcher has taken his case to a small claims court but Hewston failed to show for the initial hearing.
But the poker ace, who lives in a leafy part of Cannock, has pledged to put things right, including refunding customers.

He said Imperial Driveways was in liquidation but added: “There are two sides to every story – what about the companies that owe me money? That was the start of it all. Who is fighting my corner?

“I’ve received no correspondence from Trading Standards. They know I do put things right, I don’t hide from things. When I’m in a position to, I will put things straight. Those who have a problem need to be told that.”

The dispute is a long way from the jet-set gambling world ‘Jonny Texas’ frequents. He drives a distinctive green jag, with personalised numberplate ‘TEXAS’, is a regular in Vegas casinos and boasts household showbiz names among his friends.

He owns internet poker sites and sells merchandise. His biggest win is $100,000 gained at the World Open in September, 2006.

The timing of the controversy could not have been worse for Hewston. His recently-published autobiography, From Sixpence to Dollars, chronicles scams carried out as a penniless wannabe, his time in prison and in a mental hospital. He admits to losing everything through gambling – then regaining it.

In 2007 the Sunday Mercury revealed how Hewston was facing a £1 million legal bill after a failed bid to snap up the image rights to World Cup Willie. With his business partners he wanted to use the name and pictures of the famous 1966 lion mascot on soccer merchandise. But the FA blocked their plans.


Roy & Haley Cropper said...

Perhaps he should take his wife with him and go pay some of his debts off, I hate to think how much he has conned off people over the last 20 years.