Rugby ticket scammer jailed
A ticket scammer who duped rugby fans out of hundreds of pounds has been jailed.
Stuart Bowden, 33, who pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud by false representation and breaching a previous suspended sentence, has been sentenced to 15 months in prison.
Bowden of Inskip, Skelmersdale, placed adverts on Gumtree for Rugby World Cup tickets. Buyers contacted Bowden through email and telephone and arranged to pay hundreds of pounds for tickets.
Once Bowden received the money he stopped communicating with his victims and never sent out any tickets.
He strung one person along until the day before the game. His victim, who was none the wiser, booked a hotel and train tickets only to find he had no ticket, police said.
Another victim expected to receive tickets in the post only to be sent nothing but an empty envelope by Bowden.
The 33-year-old was arrested in December following a detailed investigation by the Greater Manchester Police Fraud Investigation Team and was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court this week.
PC John Hockaday from the GMP Fraud Investigation Team said: “This was a game of huge significance and Bowden took advantage of people’s desperation to get hold of tickets.
“His victims were not only conned out of hundreds of pounds of their hard-earned cash, but also met by a huge sense of disappointment when they realised they wouldn’t be going to a game they’d been looking forward to.
“Bowden thought he’d found an easy way to make some quick cash but as the sentencing shows, this type of crime doesn’t pay and we take it very seriously indeed.”