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Police watchdog rejects ticket fraudster's complaint

By Lesley Houston

Published 17/02/2016

PSNI
PSNI

The Police Ombudsman has thrown out a complaint by a woman who blamed police for events which led to her conviction over the fraudulent sale of concert tickets.

The woman, who has not been identified, complained that it was the PSNI's failure to contact her once she agreed to pay back the people she had defrauded that led to charges being laid.

An investigator with the Ombudsman's office revealed the woman had admitted fraudulently selling a number of tickets for a music concert in Belfast in the summer of 2014.

After being told that she might avoid prosecution if she took steps to repay the money and the injured parties were agreeable, she said she did not hear back from officers.

She admitted that she had received missed calls from a withheld number during this time, but was unable to check whether these had been from police, as she could not return the calls and did not know the name of the investigating officer.

The probe found that the police officer had made repeated attempts to contact the woman on her mobile phone, but had got no answer and had not been able to leave a message.

The officer also stated that the woman had been informed any calls made by police would come up as a withheld number.

Another officer added that the woman had been given a form with the investigating officer's name on it. A check of phone records showed that police had made a total of 12 phone calls to the woman's mobile, nine of which were made before she was advised that a file was being prepared for prosecution.

The Police Ombudsman investigator concluded that police had made every effort to contact the woman before preparing a prosecution file, and closed the complaint as not substantiated.

Belfast Telegraph

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