Welwyn Garden City fraudster jailed for Reading Festival scam

13:14 16 February 2017

James Sharman  has been sent to a young offender insitution.

James Sharman has been sent to a young offender insitution.

Archant

A teenage WGC fraudster who conned more than £1,000 from music fans who hoped to attend a major festival has been locked up for his crimes.

James Sharman, 19, of Maple Grove has been sentenced to five months and four weeks in a young offender institution by St Albans magistrates.

One victim, 22-year- old Luke Scanlan of Winchester, Hampshire, told the Welwyn Hatfield Times how he had been swindled out of £100 for two tickets to the Reading Festival in August 2015.

He said: “It is just complete cowardice. It is such a cheap way of scamming from someone.

“I expect a lot of people wouldn’t bother going to the police, but don’t mess with me when I am going to see The Libertines.”

As tickets had sold out from official sources for August 25, when his favourite band was due to headline, he posted a request on the festival Facebook page.

Sharman replied, offering tickets for £50 each - £10 below face value.

Mr Scanlan, who hoped to attend with his girlfriend, sent £100 by bank debit, but the tickets never arrived, and Sharman admitted online he did not have any.

He denied ten counts of fraud relating to festival tickets, £1,195 in total, but was convicted at a trial.

Sharman, who had earlier been convicted of burglary and receiving stolen goods, was also sentenced for eight offences of breaching a youth rehabilitation order.

The sentence also covered four bail offences, obstructing a police constable, and further theft, fraud, and burglary charges.

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