Belfast Telegraph

Emotional Stephen Nolan confronts crook who scammed him out of £20,000

By Staff Reporter

Stephen Nolan has come face to face with the conman who swindled him out of £20,000 - and forgave the crook.

John Cartmill, from Ballinderry, also defrauded Nolan's friend and fellow broadcaster Eamonn Holmes out of nearly £30,000.

The serial crook was convicted of fraud last year, but avoided going to jail after he was given a two-year suspended sentence - despite having been caught in previous scams.

Cartmill used credit cards belonging to radio and TV presenter Nolan to run up a £22,000 bill in restaurants, clothes shops and off-licences.

Cartmill's other celebrity victims included This Morning host Holmes and businessman Anthony Banks, who appeared on the TV programme The Secret Millionaire.

Cartmill was once an aspiring radio DJ who dreamed of hosting "the biggest show in the country" just like his idol ­- before he ripped him off.

Last night Nolan confronted Cartmill over his countless cons, and at first seemed unconvinced by the scam artist's attempt to make amends.

Cartmill told Nolan: "I've always wanted the opportunity to come and apologise to yourself, Eamonn and anybody else involved in stuff that was part of my past."

But Nolan retorted: "You see I would usually take that with all sincerity if someone looked me in the eye and said that - but you're a conman aren't you? That's what you've done."

Cartmill insisted what he had done was in the past, and again Nolan expressed scepticism.

"How have I any clue whether this is another con trick? How have I any notion that this isn't part of the act?" he asked.

Trying to explain away his years of fraud, Cartmill said: "I was young, foolish, going through a stage of my life that, you know, I probably just didn't care.

"I probably knew deep down or did know deep down that I was going to get caught or be one of the ones that was caught. You know, I'm grateful of the opportunity to apologise."

Cartmill insisted he deserved another chance and now had a job, as well as an employer and family who had stuck with him.

"I did do wrong, I do apologise and that no matter what you've done in your past, if you really want to, you can turn your life around," he said.

Nolan replied: "I came walking in the door today with the intention of ... I wasn't shaking your hand, I wasn't saying: 'Well that's all right then'.

"Cos it's not how I genuinely felt. But I do wish you well. The man sitting opposite me here, I was sceptical, I've listened to you… I do believe you."

Nolan, whose TV show got 40% of audience share last week, added: "And we all make mistakes. I'll go as far as to say you're as good as me, you're no worse.

"I will shake your hand and thank you for saying sorry and thank you for having the guts to do this."

Last year Cartmill (32) admitted 76 charges, including 43 counts of fraud by false representation involving Nolan's two credit cards.

Cartmill's sophisticated fraud involved ringing Nolan's bank and asking for personal details to be changed, then asking for a replacement card to be delivered to an address in Belfast. He also rang requesting the credit limit on the card be increased.

He was eventually identified from CCTV in some of the premises as he went on his spending spree.

Originally from the Glencolin area of west Belfast, Cartmill was jailed the previous year for similar offences.

He was described as a "facilitator", who fronted a gang's "sophisticated" fraud that netted £310,000 in 2009.

The gang got away with a jewellery consignment worth over £200,000 after Cartmill contacted courier and taxi companies and redirected a delivery of gold and jewellery from various Goldsmiths shops. The haul was originally bound for jewellers in Belfast and Newry, but was sent to Templepatrick, where it was collected by one of the fraudster's criminal pals.

Cartmill used the same confidence trick to steal £225,000 of jewellery from Aurum Holdings, which he redirected into the hands of thieves who were waiting at an industrial estate in Dundalk.

In his early criminal career, Cartmill operated a deception scam involving purchases of a Mercedes car, electrical equipment, computers, bicycles, giftware, furniture, doors and flooring.

Belfast Telegraph


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