A serial VAT fraudster who swindled the Government out of £32,000 in repayments for a fake jewellery business has been jailed for four and a half years.

Afamefuna Ilene, 45, made four fraudulent claims relating to "Onefashionavenue", a company he registered in 2012 from his Battersea flat in Stanmer Street.

When challenged by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) officers he showed them fake invoices and bank statements.

But an investigation found the business was a front and had never traded.

Appearing at the Old Bailey on Friday, he was sentenced to four and a half years in prison.

Ilene was previously convicted in 2010 for attempting to defraud HMRC of more than £600,000 in VAT.

He was sentenced to two years in prison and jailed for a further six months for breaching a previously suspended sentence.

Anthony Swarbrick, of HMRC, said: "Ilene is a serial fraudster who time and again has failed to learn that crime does not pay.

"He pretended to operate a legitimate business to steal money from the UK taxpayer which should be spent on vital public services.

"His criminal behaviour is totally unacceptable and he will continue to be under our watch to prevent any further criminal actions."