Former Portsmouth navy sailor jailed for Premier League football tickets fraud
DISGRACED sailor John Bayne has been booted out of the navy and jailed for a year after conning dozens in a Â£6,700 football ticket scam.
Victims of the ‘devious’ 28-year-old hit out as he was jailed yesterday by a judge who said he brought the Royal Navy into disrepute.
Bayne, now of Bury Road, Gosport, would message fans looking for Premier League tickets on Facebook and Twitter saying he could get them.
Prosecutor Marie Fittall told how the Iraq veteran would send his navy ID badge to the victims to ‘reassure’ them he could get the tickets.
But none of his 47 victims – who were based across the world including in the UK, Cornwall, Israel, Poland, and Singapore – ever received tickets, leaving them distraught.
The former Leading Hand was tracked down by police but carried out more frauds while under investigation.
Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court heard Holly Romero, 18, lost £90 on Chelsea v Arsenal.
‘He deliberately targeted me and this was all part of his clever and devious plan,’ she said in a statement.
She added: ‘He said: “Look, I’m not scamming you, I’m in the forces, for God’s sake”.’
Victim Danielle Colley, 20, said she bought Manchester United tickets from Bayne for £141 to make her boyfriend’s ‘lifelong dreams come true’.
She said Bayne, who served for 10 years, sent her his naval ID and she trusted him.
But she burst into tears after sending him the cash only to find a post on Facebook warning about his scam.
She said: ‘My heart sank, I thought I was going to be sick.
‘I read through the numerous messages saying they had been scammed by John Bayne, I burst into tears.’
She added: ‘The wounds of the day cut deeper and deeper knowing I lost that money.’
She branded Bayne a ‘disgusting excuse of a man, dragging the navy’s proud name through the dirt’.
District judge Anne Arnold said Bayne, who was previously sailor of the year on HMS St Albans, had ‘brought the navy into disrepute’.
Bayne admitted five frauds between July and November last month and was bailed, but was charged with an admitted another fraud after carrying on while on bail. He had 41 extra frauds taken into consideration.
Angela Parkins, for Bayne, said he was a ‘broken’ man but intended to pay cash back.
Bayne, formerly based at HMS Nelson, was getting help for gambling and alcohol problems.
‘Genuine hurt’ caused by fraud’s actions
THE officer who investigated the fraud carried out by John Bayne has said it was a reminder that online crime was not victimless.
PC Mark Walsh, from Hampshire police’s Economic Crime Unit said: ‘We’re clear Mr Bayne wasn’t intentionally targeting specific people, but the reality of it is, the ripple effect of his offending did effect people from across the country, from Scotland to Cornwall, Israel, Poland and Singapore.
‘That shows the international love and passion for English football. People think that online fraud is victimless but it genuinely hurts people.’