A prolific conman has been jailed after scamming bookmakers in Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire by befriending and confusing cashiers.
Jason Haddigan was so well-versed in fraud that he had even written a book entitled How and Why I Conned the Bookies.
Despite fleeing the country after carrying out scams in Ammanford and Narberth, sufficient evidence was secured by Dyfed-Powys Police during a determined investigation to charge the 49-year-old with six offences.
Officer in case PC Jade Probert said: “This was a very protracted and complex investigation, which saw enquiries being carried out over the course of 18 months.
“Haddigan is a notorious conman, who was banned from entering every bookmakers in England and Wales, and had even written a book about how he had defrauded staff.
“His technique was to befriend cashiers in betting shops, gaining their trust. He would then deliberately scribble and forge vetting slips, and use his knowledge of the working procedures and equipment they use to con the cashier with a sleight of hand technique to switch the original slip for a forged one.”
Dyfed-Powys Police received a call from a betting shop in Ammanford on May 27, 2019, reporting suspicions that the cashier had been scammed by a man claiming to have won £1,600.
The caller stated that the man had placed a ‘slow bet’ on a dog race and spent the afternoon at the shop, befriending the cashier. At the end of the race, he ‘played dumb’ and claimed he could not remember who he had bet on.
The cashier had then handed him the original betting slip, which he fraudulently amended with the winning numbers. He was handed £1,000 and asked to return the following day for the remaining £600.
PC Probert said: “Haddigan then used a similar technique at a shop in Narberth, where he placed a bet on a horse race as close to the start of the race as possible.
“A few minutes later, he asked for his betting slip back, claiming he had forgotten to include the numbers of the horses – but by then he knew the result of the race and filled in the winners.
“This gained him over £1,700 in winnings.”
After committing the two offences, Haddigan fled the country and travelled to Ireland. He later returned to England, but proved incredibly difficult to locate.
He was finally arrested at Gatwick Airport as he again tried to leave the country under an alias.
Ammanford Sergeant Dylan Davies said: “Throughout police interviews, Haddigan refused to comment which resulted in a significant amount of work for investigating officers.
“However, thanks to their determination – and particularly that of PC Jade Probert – sufficient evidence was secured to charge him with six offences, which he finally admitted at court.”
Jason Haddigan was charged with two counts of fraud, two counts of fraud by false representation and two breaches of antisocial behaviour orders.
He appeared at Swansea Crown Court on March 19, where he was handed a reduced prison sentence of 21 weeks for his guilty plea.