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'Incorrigible con-artist' is jailed
8:40am Thursday 21st February 2013 in News
A 29-year-old man described by a judge as an "incorrigible con-artist" has been jailed for a series of frauds on a charity and in an E-bay auction.
Timothy Johnson, whose previous convictions included impersonating a police officer, was sentenced to three years at Worcester Crown Court.
He admitted two charges of fraud, possessing articles for use in fraud and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Johnson, of Pembroke House, Mill Street, Evesham, was on licence from a previous jail sentence of 30 months when he began offending, said prosecutor Dan White.
He advertised a 58-inch TV set on E-bay which was bought for £1,480 by Mark Picken, who lived in London. Mr Picken paid the money through Pay Pal and Johnson, who was using his girlfriend's account, persuaded her to withdraw the cash and hand it to him.
When Mr Picken asked when he was due to get the TV, Johnson claimed it was being delivered by "a man with a van”. But it never arrived in what was a scam from the outset, said Mr White. Johnson also claimed that the TV had been stolen while he was staying at the YMCA in Cumbria. It was a false claim and he threatened to take civil action.
When he was arrested, he maintained that he had given the TV to a friend who had moved to New York. He gave police an e-mail address but it was found that he had created this address on a computer at Worcester library and he gave his address as Shaw Street, the probation offices in Worcester, but eventually disclosed he had been living in Dent Close, Worcester.
A search of his home disclosed boxes containing 30 t-shirts and six fleeces bearing the logo of West Midlands Air Ambulance.
Mr White said Johnson had also used an e-mail address giving the impression that he was a pilot and flight trainer. His actions were a potential threat to the future of the Air Ambulance charity.
Johnson had 20 convictions for 78 offences and many were for fraud, said Mr White.
Adam Western, defending, said Johnson had made little profit from his offences. There were signs he was changing his ways because he had been working as a part-time pizza delivery driver and was giving money towards the maintenance of a four-month-old child from a previous relationship.