A teenager from Brighton has been arrested after dozens of people complained to police that they had paid for music festival tickets but hadn’t received them.
Ben Hyland-Ward, 18, was held on suspicion of fraud after allegedly selling hundreds of cut-price tickets to Bestival which started on the Isle of Wight yesterday (Thursday 10 September).
The former Varndean School pupil claimed to have had death threats. At the festival a banner was put up which said “RIP Ben Hyland-Fraud”.
Sussex Police said today (Friday 11 September): “An 18-year-old man from Brighton has been arrested on suspicion of fraud by false representation by police investigating complaints about non-supply of paid-for music festival tickets.
“The matter came to light a few days before the Bestival event on the Isle of Wight was due to start on Thursday (10 September) when a number of people from Brighton reported that they had paid for tickets but had not received them.
“So far more than 60 complaints have been received by Sussex Police.
“Anyone who has not reported that they may have been a victim is asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 101.
“The man has been questioned and bailed to return on (Tuesday) 10 November.”
In response to a public Facebook group called Stresstival, Ben Hyland-Ward left a post on Tuesday morning (8 September).
It said: “I am working with the police to sort this out. In the next few days a way to refund everyone will be worked out and I will private message all of you individually to sort this out.
“I would like to give a huge apology to everyone as well. I am not asking for sympathy but it has been a horrible 24 hours and I have had some full death threats and I am in real danger.
“Everybody will be sorted out and refunded completely. This is a horrid situation and not one I would ever want to be in ever again.
“Joe Walker isn’t involved as he was only selling them for me as a favour so please just message me directly.
“I will try to sort everyone out as soon as possible. I wanted to get in touch with everyone last night but I had too much going on and had no chance to do so.”
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