Fraudster jailed after TV appeal
PUBLISHED: 15:10 09 August 2012
A SERIAL fraudster who duped a number of pubs out of thousands of pounds has been jailed after he was caught thanks to a television appeal.
Scott West ripped off three pubs across South Cambridgeshire between March 26 and April 7, running up bills for accommodation, food and drink on stolen credit cards before disappearing.
The-36-year-old would pretend to be a jockey and even got a woman to call The Crown Inn, in High Street, Linton, claiming to be from Newmarket Race Course to aid the deception.
He went on to commit further offences in Essex, but detectives in Cambridgeshire recovered DNA from a coffee cup from a room in the Black Bull, Balsham, where he had stayed. He fled that pub after a member of staff who had previously worked at The Crown recognised him.
He went on to continue his fraud at the Three Hills pub in Bartlow before leaving the county.
Unable to track him down, officers turned to the Crimewatch Roadshow, who aired his picture on BBC 1 on June 13.
By then West had landed a job as a chef at the Five Miles From Anywhere No Hurry Inn pub in Upware, near Ely, a viewer recognised his photograph and called the show. He was arrested that afternoon.
He pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud, two of theft and one of making off without payment. He was jailed for 12 months at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (August 7).
Detective Constable Tanya Mutch, who investigated, said: “West was a serial fraudster who thought nothing of swindling people out of their money.
“He won the trust of a lot of people by acting friendly and presenting a fake persona, running up large bills he had no intention of paying.
“Such behaviour will not be tolerated and this case shows how seriously we take such offending.”