Man conned friends over trip

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A FRAUDSTER fleeced his friends out of thousands of pounds after volunteering to organise a holiday to the USA which he failed to book.

David Brown, 31, instead used his pals’ cash to pay off debts before flying off to Canada just days before they were due to go on the trip.

Leeds Crown Court heard how Brown told them he would book flights to America and make arrangements to hire a motor home to tour the country, telling them it would cost £1,115 each.

Between the end of summer 2010 and April year he collected a total of £5,556 from five friends, who live in Normanton, Castleford and Pontefract.

Prosecutor Georgina Coade said: “He said he had all the documents and tickets.

“He arranged to take them all to the airport and said they would be flying on the morning of May 5. It was all fictitious.”

Brown continued to reassure his friends everything was organised right up until shortly before their departure.

But on May 2 the group found out he had left the country after buying tickets to Toronto.

One of the victims got in touch with Brown through Facebook and he admitted carrying out the deception due to his financial troubles. Brown, now of Skelton, near York, was arrested when he returned to the UK three weeks later.

He told police he was £40,000 in debt and was having problems with bailiffs.

Brown admitted five counts of fraud.

Chloe Fairley, for Brown, said Brown was unable to work after an accident and his financial problems grew. He had been expecting a compensation claim for £13,000 to be settled quickly but had not got the money in time.

Sentencing was adjourned.