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Fraudster who stole from Stephen Nolan and Eamonn Holmes is back in business

By Chief Reporter Ciaran Barnes

Published 13/10/2015

Serial thief: Jay Cartmill has served time in prison and is now helping stage prestigious events.
Serial thief: Jay Cartmill has served time in prison and is now helping stage prestigious events.
Talentfest shows: Jay Cartmill and Robin Elliott.

The brazen Belfast fraudster who stole from Stephen Nolan and Eamonn Holmes is back in business — taking thousands of pounds from unsuspecting guests at a talent show featuring X-Factor judge Louis Walsh and boy-band Union J.

Serial criminal Jay Cartmill was part of a team, including radio DJ Robin Elliott, at Talentfest UK which had its grand final in Blackpool two weeks ago.

Celebrity conman Cartmill hit the headlines last year after it was revealed in court that he stole £17,820 from BBC presenter Nolan and £30,000 from This Morning host Holmes after getting hold of their bank card details.

Sunday Life can now reveal that in his role as Events and Marketing Manager with Talentfest UK the west Belfast man handled thousands of pounds paid by unsuspecting businesses to advertise at the talent competition.

But he was careful to keep his 90 plus convictions for fraud secret from his clients, and the fact that he was previously jailed for two years for stealing £310,000 of gems and expensive goods.

There is no suggestion that Louis Walsh knew anything about convicted conman Cartmill’s involvement with Talentfest when he agreed to be a judge, or, that anyone involved in Talentfest was involved in any wrongdoing.

But brazen fraudster and thief Cartmill appears reluctant to discuss his new role in showbiz.

When confronted about his role at Talentfest UK, Cartmill said: “I’ve no comment to make.”

Talentfest UK was set up four years ago by ex-Citybeat jock Robin Elliott, a former business partner of Cartmill.

When conman Cartmill was given a suspended sentence for stealing £50,000 from Stephen Nolan and Eamonn Holmes, Mr Elliott told Sunday Life he wanted to forget that he was ever part of his life.

Robin Elliott said: “I want people to know I have completely disassociated myself from Jay Cartmill and I was not aware or involved with any of his criminal dealings.”

But only two weeks ago Elliott was hosting the Talentfest UK show at which crooked Cartmill played a key role as events and marketing manager.

When contacted by Sunday Life Elliott denied he was back working with Cartmill, saying: “I have no association with Jay Cartmill. I was asked to host an event which I did so with Louis Walsh. I don’t even live in Northern Ireland any longer.”

Elliott also denied setting up Talentfest UK, which employed Cartmill, but was forced to back down when confronted with evidence to the contrary.

“Okay, I did set up Talentfest UK but it is run by other people now,” he added.

As well as being heavily involved with Talentfest UK scheming Jay Cartmill is also employed by a company called Chase the Stage Events.

The firm, based on Adelaide Street in Belfast, organised Talentfest UK’s recent Blackpool final featuring Louis Walsh which was hosted by Robin Elliott.

Director of Chase the Stage Judy Brunton said the company knew Cartmill’s history.

She said: “We are fully aware of Mr Cartmill’s past, but we have given him a second chance and he has proved himself to be an excellent employee.

“He is not a shareholder, director or on the board of Chase the Stage. We have no issue with the quality of his work, and we will continue to employ him.”

Jay Cartmill earned himself the reputation of Northern Ireland’s most notorious conman due to his brazen targeting of celebrity victims.

Over a two month period in 2011 he blitzed the bank accounts of Stephen Nolan and Eamonn Holmes stealing almost £50,000.

Around the same time the balding 33-year-old was sentenced to two years in prison for his role in a £310,000 fraud.

He arranged for jewellery and expensive goods bought with stolen credit card numbers to be delivered to alternative addresses where they were collected by members of a west Belfast crime gang.

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