A WEDDING photographer sold a camera worth £2,000 over the internet but then failed to supply it to the buyer.
Darren Thomas Roberts listed a camera for sale on secondhand sales website Preloved and received interest from Morcambe-based photographer Sonia Byrom.
Ms Byrom asked for a photograph of the camera to prove it was as advertised and, satisfied it was, asked Roberts, 33, if she could collect it in person.
But Roberts, of Montgomery Road, Wrexham, said he would send the item through the post and asked Ms Byrom to transfer the money into his bank account.
She sent the money but did not receive the camera.
And later, Ms Byrom got an email claiming to be from Roberts’ wife, saying he had been in an accident and was receiving treatment in hospital.
She asked for a refund but did not get the money back so she went to Lancashire Police to inform them of the situation.
Roberts was arrested for fraud in January and was initially dealt with by way of a conditional caution, which ordered him to reimburse Ms Byrom.
But he failed to do so by the deadline.
Roberts had been working in the Blackpool area since an incident involving his ex-wife.
He had moved out of the family home and also lost his photography business.
He had primarily been a wedding photographer, but following an assault conviction involving alcohol, was no longer allowed on licensed premises.
This meant Roberts was not able to fulfil a number of bookings he had taken.
At Wrexham Magistrates Court he pleaded guilty to fraud.
Matthew Ellis, prosecuting, said Ms Byrom had been “out of pocket” since before Christmas.
Euros Jones, defending, said if Roberts had the funds he would have repaid Ms Byrom and “that would have been the end of the matter”.
But Roberts had paid money back to “a number of brides” who had booked him to do the photography at their wedding only for him to cancel because he had been banned from licensed premises.
Magistrates chairman Paul Galloway said: “You may well have deprived Sonia Byrom of her livliehood with your actions. The fact you have let a number of brides down is besides the point.”
Mr Galloway imposed a 12-month community order, with an 80-hour unpaid work requirement.
He was also told to pay £2,000 compensation to Ms Byrom, as well as £80 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.