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Saturday, 12 July 2014

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eBay car sale fraud man from Carlisle sent to prison

A conman who swindled six people by selling them non-existent cars through the eBay auction website has been jailed for 14 months.

Christopher Lowry, 37, said he set up the scam for somebody else and only took a 10 per cent cut of the £12,350 that was ultimately stolen.

But the defendant, of Borland Avenue, Botcherby, Carlisle, later admitted six counts of theft.

Alan Lovett, prosecuting at Carlisle Crown Court yesterday, described how Lowry advertised cars through eBay and persuaded six people to send payments directly into his bank account, rather than using the secure payment system called PayPal.

Over the course of three days in January, Lowry accepted payments ranging from £800 to £3,400.

The money was withdrawn from his account almost immediately, said Mr Lovett.

When police spoke to the Lowry, he claimed that he had been persuaded by other unnamed people to allow his bank account to be used.

Mr Lovett said Lowry had 38 offences on his criminal record, and they included 23 previous thefts.

William Mark-Bell, for Lowry, said his client had not been to jail for nine years and was proud of that fact.

After losing his job last year as a car washer – a job that he had loved – he was under financial pressure from various debts.

“He says he gained ten per cent of the total [stolen] – some £1,600,” said Mr Mark-Bell, adding that Lowry, a father of two, felt remorse, particularly for the consequences of his crime on his family.

“He feels he has let them down, and has self-harmed several times.”

In a letter written to the judge, Lowry said he was willing to face prison and was determined, on his release, to get his life back on track.

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