Bolton men jailed after trying to claim £4m scratch card bought with someone else’s money
The men celebrated their ‘win’ with champagne and cocktails before being caught out by police
Two men from Bolton have been jailed after they attempted to cash out on a £4 million winning scratch card bought using someone else’s money.
This week, Mark Goodram, thirty-eight, and Jon Watson, thirty-four, admitted to using stolen debit card details to purchase the winning scratch card from a Waitrose store in the Clapham area of London.
Bolton Crown Court heard how the pair, who were both on licence at the time following prison sentences, had travelled down to the capital on April 22nd 2019, where they intended to go begging as ‘there was more money to be made’ there than there was in their home town.
There, they purchased the winning scratch card and immediately contacted the operator of the National Lottery, Camelot, to claim the winnings.
However, Goodram almost instantly gave himself away by letting slip to the phone operator that he didn’t have a bank account for the winnings to be transferred into. Suspicions were raised and, the very next day, Camelot investigator Stephen Long rang Goodram back to enquire about the card used to make the purchase.
Goodram told Long that the bank card belong to his ‘friend’ who ‘owed him money’, but could not provide details on the cardholder’s full name or address, fuelling suspicions even further.
While the investigation was getting underway, however, both men sold the story of their win to The Sun, where they claimed they had spent the last four days celebrating with champagne and cocktail-fuelled parties.
They even hired celebrity lawyer Henry Hendron to try and get Camelot to release the £4m, which was held pending while the investigation got underway.
Their efforts were all in vain, however; Camelot’s investigation was eventually passed to the police who found that the scratch card had been bought fraudulently, using card details belonging to a man named Joshua Addiman.
It was also found that the men had spent £71.78 on the card in Waitrose as well as £90.56 in a Clapham Londis, all of which was reimbursed back to Addiman, Bolton Crown Court heard.
Yesterday, both men were jailed for eighteen months after pleading guilty to three counts of fraud. Goodram was then given an extra month for breaching his bail, taking his total sentence to nineteen months.
Prosecution barrister Denise Fitzpatrick described the case as ‘very unusual’ and said: “There was little prospect of success but that is due to the rigorous checks of Camelot rather than anything done by the defendants.”
Defence barrister Robin Kitching said that Goodram has a ‘long-standing addiction to drugs and alcohol’ and that he is ‘essentially homeless’, while Watson’s lawyer Nick Ross said the money was only ever ‘fantasy money’.
He told the court: “When that figure popped up they were in total disbelief.”
Ross added that since the incident and due to the media coverage, Watson has become the subject of ridicule, adding that Watson has ‘had enough of crime’ and describing the incident as a ‘turning point’.
Woman tragically dies in Manchester petrol station incident
Emergency services attended the scene but the woman was sadly confirmed dead
An elderly woman has died following a crash at a petrol station in Manchester.
Officers believe the woman, who was in her 70s, suffered a medical episode while at the wheel of her car when she crashed into a small brick wall.
She had been trying to drive the Nissan Micra off the forecourt of the Asda petrol station in Moston Lane, Harpurhey, at approximately 10.45am on Wednesday, March 22nd.
Emergency services attended the scene but the woman was sadly confirmed dead. Greater Manchester Police have appealed for any witnesses to help them.
A section of stretch of road, near the junction with Rochdale Road, was closed for a number of hours while emergency services dealt with the incident. Paramedics and two air ambulances were seen.
Anyone with information or on the forecourt at the time of the incident should contact police on 0161 856 4741 quoting log 1103-22/3/2023.
Information can also be reported online or by using the LiveChat function at www.gmp.police.uk. If you can’t report online, call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
‘Postbox to heaven’ now installed at Greater Manchester crematorium
Such a lovely idea!
A postbox allowing people to send letters to their loved ones in heaven has now been installed at a Greater Manchester crematorium.
The white and gold Royal Mail letterbox can be found at Howe Bridge crematorium in Atherton, Wigan Borough. It was the idea of nine-year-old Matilda Handy who wanted to send a letter to her late grandparents to help her cope with the grief of her loss.
The first was set-up at Gedling Crematorium, near Nottingham, and proved a popular concept with over 100 letters and cards posted within its first few weeks. Speaking to Granada Reports, Matilda’s mother Leanne, who is Gedling Crematorium’s Memorial Advisor, said: “She was four when my mum died, and never met my dad.
“Now the postbox is in place, I am so pleased that local people are using it, and taking some comfort from it, as another way of feeling connected to their loved ones.”
UK crematorium and cemetery operator, Westerleigh Group is now rolling out the postboxes across all of its sites.
Lindsey Edwardson, Site Manager at Howe Bridge Crematorium, said: “Feedback has shown that the process of writing a letter, or perhaps a birthday card, to a lost loved one has already brought therapeutic comfort to many people.
“Now, the communities in and around our crematorium can do the same thing. No address or stamps are required on any of the letters or cards. This is just another way in which we can provide emotional support to local families.”
A post on the Howe Bridge Crematorium Facebook page read: “We are proud to announce the official opening of our Letters to Heaven Post Box. Our thanks go to Alison Regan Civil Funeral Celebrant for her beautiful service to commemorate its opening.
“For all those who wish, you can post a letter to your loved ones that are no longer with us at the Post Box.”
Woman with undiagnosed brain tumour had to visit doctors nine times to get scan
Doctors told her if she had not had the surgery within a few hours or days then it could have been a different story
A woman with an undiagnosed brain tumour who was told ‘we don’t give out brain scans to 24-year-olds willy nilly’ is now campaigning for change.
Claudia Laird, from Burnley, went to see a medical professional on nine occasions as she tried to get to the bottom of why she felt so unwell. One week later, she was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
Claudia told ITV Granada Reports: “I think the initial reaction was trusting of the GP. I was in shock after, because I found out I definitely needed that brain scan.
“It was all quite quick – they weren’t sure what was on the brain at first. It was all up in the air.
“I can’t believe I went through that. We were just waiting for the doctors to tell us the outcome. It was challenging, but more so looking back on it now. At the time, you don’t know the outcome.”
Claudia was experiencing symptoms of confusion, hallucinations and fatigue. But doctors put it down to what they thought to be gastroenteritis. After discovering the tumour, Claudia had to then undergo an eight-hour operation.
Doctors told her if she had not had the surgery within a few hours or days then it could have been a different story. She said: “I was asleep all the time. My friends would call me lazy. I thought it was because I was working long hours.
“I walked into a window thinking it was a door. I spent a night in bed with my mum and dad because I was hallucinating.”
Claudia is now training to be a paediatrician, to give people the same level of care. After the difficulty she had in getting diagnosed, Claudia has decided she does not want the same mistakes to happen to someone else.
Claudia said: “We need everybody to understand the difficulty of getting that diagnosis. It took me over nine times to get that diagnosis. I went to opticians, GP and A&E just to push to say ‘I really don’t think something is right here’.
“I want to see some changes, some research, funding into brain tumours. 1% of cancer research goes into brain tumours.”
The NHS lists the symptoms of a brain tumour as:
- seizures (fits)
- persistently feeling sick (nausea), being sick (vomiting) and drowsiness.
- mental or behavioural changes, such as memory problems or changes in personality.
- progressive weakness or paralysis on one side of the body.
- vision or speech problems.