Students Escape Jail Over Ticket Scam

Two former university students who created a scam website selling fake tickets for pop festivals around the country were given suspended sentences today.

Dale Frost and David Martins, both 21, netted a total of £11,000 from the racket selling the non-existent tickets to popular music events including the Download, Isle of Wight and Reading festivals.

The pair created the site called Z Tickets while first-year students studying business studies and web design courses at Southampton Solent University and were thrown off the course when the con was revealed.

They both pleaded guilty earlier to two offences under the Fraud Act 2006 and the Companies Act 2006 at Southampton Magistrates' Court but were sentenced at the city's crown court.

A crown court official confirmed the pair were each sentenced to 45 weeks in jail for each of the two charges to run concurrently, but this was suspended for two years.

They also received 200 hours of community work each and were ordered to pay back compensation totalling £2,135 between them to victims who were not refunded by their credit card companies.

They also had to pay £2,500 costs between them for Southampton City Council's investigation.

The scam saw about 80 customers pay up to £500 each for the tickets, which they thought would be genuine.

But buried within the terms and conditions was a brief mention that the tickets would not guarantee entry into the event.

And when the tickets arrived just a couple of days before the event, they were marked with the word "novelty''.

The money the men made was not recovered but most of the victims were able to get their money back as they paid through secure methods including PayPal and Google Checkout.