Whitehawk conman posed as his own uncle

Posted On 26 Jan 2010 at 8:11 pm

A serial fraudster whose scams included posing as his dead uncle and selling non-existent Spice Girls tickets was jailed for seven years ago.

Billy Halliwell, 27, obtained tens of thousands of pounds with a variety of cons during his two-year crime spree.

Yesterday, Halliwell, of Whitehawk Road, Whitehawk, was jailed for 31 fraud offences at Lewes Crown Court, which took another 48 matters into consideration.

Detective Constable Dave Foster, who led the investigation, said: “Halliwell was a serial fraudster who would have undoubtedly continued with his life of crime if he had not been caught. Even after his initial arrest he continued offending and the number of charges against him kept on rising.

“Like many fraud enquiries this has taken a considerable time to bring before a court due to the huge amount of evidence that we needed to secure to get a conviction This has been a meticulous and painstaking enquiry but we were determined that Halliwell should pay for his crimes.”

Halliwell first came to the attention of police in April 2007 when he was arrested for altering and stealing company cheques from PHS Allclear. A year later he was arrested by fraud officers for similar offences with EDF Energy.

As the investigation continued, enquiries revealed that Halliwell had purported to be his deceased uncle on a number of occasions in order to get £80,000 worth of shares transferred into his own name before selling them.

At an early stage police managed to recover £55,000 of the money Halliwell had stolen and return it to his uncle’s estate.

After being granted bail he absconded to Australia; he returned months later and used false identities to obtain benefits in different parts of the UK. When he was finally arrested in Brighton he was remanded in custody pending trial.

Halliwell also fraudulently advertised Spice Girls concert tickets for sale on the internet; three people purchased tickets but never received them.

He pleaded guilty to the crimes, but Judge Niblett at Brighton Crown Court said he was imposing such a lengthy sentence because of the period of time over which he had offended together with the type and complexity of his crimes.

DC Foster added: “We are obviously pleased that the Judge recognised the complexity of the case and this has clearly been reflected in the sentence given.”

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