Fake landlord put ex’s flat on Gumtree to pocket £2,000 for ticket to Ayia Napa

A fraudster pocketed more than £2,000 by advertising his ex-girlfriend’s flat on Gumtree and then bought a ticket to Ayia Napa.

Phillip Allman, 29, had more than 50 previous convictions when he carrying out the "underhand" and "really mean" fraud.

A court heard ex Lucy Sharp let Allman stay with her after their relationship ended but he abused her trust.

She was saving up for a holiday at the time, Wales Online says. 

Jailing Allman for one year, Judge Michael Fitton QC said: "The offences for which I have to deal with you are really mean and underhand offences of dishonesty.

"They come from a man who has been committing offences of dishonesty for years and years."

"You were fortunate enough to have a generous friend. You abused her friendship and trust to cheat people out of money."

Cardiff Crown Court heard Allman had been in a relationship with Miss Sharp for six years but they split in December last year. Miss Sharp let the defendant move back in after a new relationship broke down in May this year.

"She allowed him to stay in her flat with her. She made it clear that this was a temporary arrangement," Tom Roberts, prosecuting, said.

"While he had access to the flat he took it upon himself to advertise it for rent."

But Allman advertised the flat in Llanedeyrn, Cardiff, on Gumtree for £400 a month with a £400 deposit.

When Jolanta Goniuch saw the advert, she called the defendant on the number in the advert.

He met her later that day and showed her around the property, telling her it would be available from June 24. She transferred £800 into his bank account.

And the next day, Natera Morris saw the advert and went to view the flat with her partner Sean Malone. Allman told them they could move in on June 11 and even promised to get a van to help them move. They paid him £100 in cash then transferred a further £500 online.

On June 6, Louis Lobina saw the advert on Gumtree and called Allman to arrange a viewing for the following day. He paid £600 by online transfer with £200 to follow later. Mr Roberts said: "That was all he had at the time."

The court heard Allman carried on living in the flat until June 10 when he “left abruptly”. Prosecutors said Ms Sharp found out what he had done when Mr Malone arrived at her flat.

Mr Roberts added: "The court can only imagine the consequences for Ms Sharpe had the defendant’s victims been less understanding."

The court heard Mr Lobina got back in touch with Allman that day, saying he had £100 for him. Allman met him in a nearby pub and took the cash.

The court heard Ms Morris and Mr Malone arrived, knowing the defendant had conned them, and he tried to tell them there was a problem with the flat and “government bonds”.

Mr Roberts said: “He was, by this stage, making it up as he went along. He had a suitcase with him. He ran off.”

Ms Sharp tried to contact him but he ignored her and blocked her calls. She was given three months notice and had to leave the flat in September.

When he was interviewed by the police Allman claimed Ms Sharp knew what was going on – which was not true.

He claimed he was depressed and needed the money to “get away”. The court heard he and a friend bought tickets to Ayia Napa.

The victims were reimbursed by their banks for the money that had been paid by bank transfer but Mr Morris and Mr Lobina had each paid £100 in cash, which they lost. 

Prosecutors said Allman had 53 previous offences on his record and his dishonesty started when he was a youth.

In November 2011 he was dealt with for three fraud offences after using someone else’s credit card to buy train tickets. Other offences included burglary and theft.

He was given a 10-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, in June 2017 for stealing vehicles. The latest offences breached that sentence.

Allman, from Newport, south Wales admitted three counts of fraud in breach of a suspended sentence.

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