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20 January 2015, 07:59
A man who conned people out of cash by selling imaginary goods online, has been jailed for 15 months.
Justin Waters of no fixed address pleaded guilty to six charges of fraud by false representation.
The 42-year old also admitted an additional 45 similar offences which were taken into consideration by the judge when he was sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court on 9 January.
Between 3 December 2013 and 26 April 2014 Waters advertised numerous items on a website, ranging from metal detectors to motorbike clothing to musical equipment. Prices ranged from £35 to £592 and website users could contact Waters to agree a fee.
Waters operated his scheme from a caravan in Reculver Lane, Herne Bay, using the names and bank details of people he had befriended. He would convince the buyers to pay using bank transfers. They would be left out of pocket as he would cease all contact with them, refuse to answer their calls and not send the items they had paid for.
But following an extensive investigation by Detective Constable Lee Gerken at Kent Police, in which he located a total of 51 victims from across the UK through identifying the similarities in their complaints, Waters was arrested in August last year.
During police interview Waters made a full admission to the offences and said he had advertised items with no intention of supplying them as he was short of cash.
DC Gerkin said: ‘Waters took advantage of the trusting nature of people. He conned unsuspecting online shoppers out of cash, and the bank accounts of those who had shown him kindness were misused to carry out his scam.
‘Despite hiding behind different names, officers were able to uncover his deception and now Waters is behind bars and unable to con any more people.’