VICTIMS in Bridport were duped by a fraudster who promised them items for money including VIP tickets to watch Premier League matches, a court heard.

Liam Proctor, previously described as ‘a prolific offender’ and who is currently serving a prison sentence for charges of fraud and blackmail involving Bridport victims, was back before the courts yesterday to admit further dishonesty offences in which he pocketed more than £2,000.

Proctor, 25, previously of Weymouth, admitted five charges of fraud relating to five victims when he appeared at the town's magistrates court. The victims were all known to the defendant for a long time, the court heard.

Prosecuting, Richard Oakley, said Proctor told one victim he had tickets to watch Liverpool at Anfield and agreed to meet in Bridport to exchange £570 for eight tickets in February 2020.

He said: “The victim handed him £30, then £60 (on a different date) and then £200. On February 13, the defendant contacted the victim saying the price had been increased and asked for £300. The victim agreed but said he only had £280, which he gave him. The victim later grew suspicious and the defendant failed to provide him the tickets.”

Another charge involved similar circumstances with Proctor offering a Yeovil man VIP tickets to watch Liverpool and Manchester United in August 2019 and a Chelsea fixture in October 2019, with an opportunity to meet players. The victim paid £790 for 14 tickets.

Mr Oakley said: “ On August 16, 2019, the tickets were arranged to be handed over in Crewkerne, but the defendant didn’t attend. The victim later saw him on a later date and asked him to return his money. Proctor asked for a lift to Bridport so he could return the money. The defendant got out of the vehicle and left. The defendant stated on a number of occasions that he would transfer the money, but the victim never received it.”

During the first lockdown on April 11, 2020, Proctor contacted a woman in Bridport telling him he was visiting the town’s Morrisons supermarket and asked her if she needed anything.

Mr Oakley said: “She gave him a bank card and asked for a bottle of vodka, a bottle of Coca-Cola and milk. She checked her online banking and saw that £240 had been withdrawn and £7.40 had been paid for unknown items.

“The items she originally requested were left at her home later that day. (Proctor) returned and began to make excuses.”

On another occasion in February last year, Proctor told a man in Wincanton, Somerset he could get tickets for a Premier League game as well as a quantity of fish. After the man made a series of payments totalling £222, Proctor failed to give him any tickets or fish.

Another offence in December 2019 saw Proctor claim to a Portland fisherman that he could sell him a 'large amount' of fishing gear.

Mr Oakley said: “A price was suggested of £560, which the victim agreed to pay. An unknown female later appeared at the victim’s address to collect the money."

He said the victim drove Proctor to a house where it was claimed they could collect the fishing gear. Proctor went in the house but never returned and later sent a message making excuses.

Mr Oakley said: “The victim was given another address to attend to collect equipment and it became clear there was no fishing equipment.”

Mitigating, Kenny Sharpe, noted that Proctor pleaded guilty at the first opportunity to these offences, but said they were less serious than the charges he was convicted of in September 2020 when he was jailed for four years.

Mr Sharpe told magistrates: “You have 12 months at your discretion, but these matters are less serious and less of a loss than those complaints (dealt with previously).

“I will invite you to sentence him and it will likely run concurrently.”

Magistrates jailed Proctor for 32 weeks, which will run concurrently with his current imprisonment.

They ordered no costs or compensation to be paid, remarking that any amounts for compensation would be ‘too small’ for each of the victims.