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Preston EE scam gang jailed after being caught in Middlesbrough

Posted on - 17th September, 2018 - 8:00am | Author - | Posted in - Crime, Preston News
Two of the gang Jonathan Sowerby and Dale Grant pictured outside Teesside Crown Court
Two of the gang Jonathan Sowerby and Dale Grant pictured outside Teesside Crown Court Pic: Teesside Live

A Preston-based gang who were working to try and con mobile phone network giant EE out of iPhones and iPads have been jailed.

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David Walker, 28, Ryan Nuttall, 27, Jonathan Sowerby, 25, and Dale Grant, 28, were caught when they attempted their con in Middlesbrough.

The gang used genuine customers personal details, such as their dates of birth, phone numbers and banking information to create ‘clone identities’, Teesside Live reported.

Walker, described during the hear at Teesside Crown Court, as the ‘lynchpin’, and his crew would pose as customers in the EE stores and add iPhones and iPads after answering security questions.

The group managed to con more than £10,000 worth of devices from EE shops in Sheffield, Newcastle, Huddersfield, Preston and Glasgow.

They were caught after a store manager in the Linthorpe Road shop in Middlesbrough raised suspicions after recognising details from a fraud alert.

Cleveland Police stopped the four men, who were in Walker’s Kia Optima, and found an array of phones, SIM cards and bank cards in the car.

All four men admitted conspiring to commit fraud between June and August 2015.

Read more: Man who tricked Fulwood pensioners to sell their home is jailed

Judge Simon Bourne-Arton QC, the Recorder of Middlesbrough, told the gang of four: “This was on any view a carefully planned and in some ways sophisticated conspiracy.”

Walker was jailed for two years, Nuttall for 21 months, Sowerby for 16 months and Grant was given a 12-month prison term suspended for two years with 140 hours unpaid work.

A fifth man, Jack Ashby, 26, also from Preston will be sentenced on 1 October.

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