A FRAUDSTER who skipped court was arrested at an airport with a one-way ticket to Brazil.
Kit Loydd missed his original court date for four charges of fraud and, after a warrant for his arrest was issued, he was found about to leave the country at a London airport.
He misguidedly tried to take flight.Rebecca Strong
The gambling addict was then hauled before the courts yesterday to be sentenced for the fraud, which saw him advertise rooms for rent in a family member’s house while they were in Australia.
Portsmouth magistrates were told how the 24-year-old was caught at the airport after what his solicitor Rebecca Strong said was a ‘panicky moment’.
At an earlier hearing, magistrates heard Loydd, of no fixed address but from Portsmouth, had got the money for the plane ticket from a friend, but was stopped and taken to a police station.
Miss Strong said: ‘After he was charged for the fraud offences and due to come before the court, he panicked and was scared.
‘He had been trying to find jobs and had applied for jobs abroad. He found a bar job and wanted to at least make amends. He did the wrong thing and knows that.
‘He misguidedly tried to take flight.’
The court heard Loydd started gambling when he was around 18 years old and since October last year his addiction had got worse.
The former pizza takeaway manager lost his job after failing to go to work due to the addiction and then lost his house. Magistrates heard his debt was between £15,000 and £20,000.
Prosecutor Graham Heath told the court that between January 10 and January 22 this year, Loydd advertised rooms for rent on Gumtree at a house in London Road, Hilsea, belonging to a relative.
One victim was asked to pay a £400 deposit plus £375 for rent, another was asked to pay £400 deposit and £195, while two more were asked to pay £400 each. He spent the money on more bets.
Sentencing Loydd to a community order for 12 months, chair magistrate Jim MacDonald said: ‘This being your first conviction and your clear remorse have kept you from going to jail today. You have just escaped. You are at the bottom, but you are now trying to climb back up again.’
Loydd must also complete 80 hours’ unpaid work and 20 days’ rehabilitation activity requirements.