Bagillt man faked internet sale to ease money troubles

Published date: 24 June 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A man in financial difficulties raised money by selling a non-existent camera on the internet.

Mathew Carter, 29, advertised the camera on the Gumtree private sales website for £310.

But it was all a scam and when the purchaser transferred the money, the advert disappeared and Carter did not respond to emails.

Carter, of Bagillt Road, Bagillt, admitted fraud when he appeared at Flintshire Magistrates Court.

To make matters worse, when police went to his home they found that he was growing cannabis.

The court heard he had four large plants. A 6ft 3in tall police officer told how they came up to his waist –  and there were four other small plants in a separate growing area.

Carter, who admitted cultivating the class B drug, was placed on a 12-month community order with 200 hours unpaid work.

He must pay £310 compensation and £145 costs.

Matthew Ellis, prosecuting, said that in January, Leonard Trow saw the Nikon camera advertised on the Gumtree website.

The seller was ‘Audrey’, who said she did not have a PayPal account and asked for a bank transfer.

Following emails from a female, the money was transferred – but no camera arrived.

The advert was deleted and there was no response to chase up emails.

Police attended the Carter’s home and he denied all knowledge of it.

Further enquiries were made with the email account supplier which again led police officers to his address.

A search warrant was obtained when the cannabis plants were found.

Carter admitted he had lied to the police and accepted that he was responsible for the camera scam.

The money had been transferred into his partner’s account.

Phillip Marshall-Thomas, defending, said Carter and his partner had cash woes as she was unable to work after a hip operation.

They faced the possibility of losing their home and he was desperate.

He had been told of the scam by a third party who claimed to have got away with such a fraud in the past.

He and his partner had since saved the money so the compensation could be paid off.

The cannabis was for his own use, Mr Marshall-Thomas added.

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