A conman known as “Champagne Charlie” has been arrested and convicted of fraud in just two days after being spotted on a bus.
John Clugston, 64, from Southwick, was being sought by the Metropolotan Police and with help from Sussex Police because of his links to Brighton and Southwick.
He conned several office workers in London out of more than £18,000 by pretending he had some Bollinger champagne left over from a party.
He would take cash – usually £1,000 to £1,500 – and fail to return.
He was believed to have committed numerous offences across London including in the boroughs of Kingston, Southwark, Westminster, Lambeth, Camden, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham and the City
Detective Constable Anna Petherbridge, from Westminster CID, was investigating the case and was travelling into work on Tuesday (26 July) when she spotted Clugston on a bus at Clapham Junction.
She arrested him on the spot and in interview he later admitted to committing 29 offences.
He was then charged with six counts of fraud by false representation and appeared at City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Wednesday 27 July).
He entered a guilty plea to all counts.
He was remanded in custody for sentencing on a date to be confirmed.
The court will take the other 23 offences into consideration when he is sentenced.
DC Petherbridge said: “After all these days and weeks of trying to track him down, I couldn’t believe it when I saw him getting off the bus.
“I’m really pleased for all those concerned as he has used this trick time and again to fool unsuspecting victims right across London and has managed to con people out of a great deal of money.”
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