Plymouth woman who sold non-existent event tickets avoids jail
A WOMAN who fraudulently sold non-existent event tickets has narrowly avoided a jail term.
Sophie Learmouth, 24, logged on to selling website Gumtree to seek out her victims. She first responded to a desperate football fan who had posted a plea for FA Cup final tickets. After she convinced the woman she would post out the tickets, the buyer transferred £125 to Learmouth's bank account on April 10 last year.
But the tickets never arrived. Then on June 8, Learmouth logged back on to Gumtree and contacted someone looking for tickets to Donington Park Music Festival. Again, Learmouth exchanged emails with the victim and had £300 paid into her account for tickets that didn't exist. At Plymouth Magistrates Court yesterday, Learmouth, of Amados Drive, pleaded guilty to two charges of fraud by false representation.
Prosecutor Eoin MacCarthy explained: "She has offered to repay but to date no money has been forthcoming. She had indicated she is in financial difficulty so is unable but willing to do so."
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The court also heard that Learmouth has previous convictions dating back to 2008 when she filled her car with petrol but didn't pay on four occasions.
A probation officer told magistrates that Learmouth wishes to write letters of apology to her victims and that she is "full of remorse for her actions".
After considering the case, magistrates told Learmouth: "These offences are so serious that custody is the suitable option. That is because of your previous conviction, the harm done to your victims and the fact that this was two separate incidents."
Learmouth was sentenced to 10 weeks behind bars, suspended for 10 weeks. She was further ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work, pay back her victims and stump up £85 in court costs.