Serial Arsenal and Man United ticket tout gets three years in prison
A serial ticket tout who sold Premier League tickets for 20 times their face value has been jailed
David Spanton has been sentenced to three years in prison after he began reoffending within six weeks of being released on previous charges.
The tout had previously been given a nine month sentence for illegally reselling matchday entry through a company called City Ticket Service, which turned over more than £4 million selling tickets to Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal matches at heavily inflated prices.
Within six weeks of being released from prison for those offences, Spanton set up a second company called Click for Tickets with his partner Jane Clapton.
Clapton was appointed company director and the firm was registered at Spanton's initial address on release from prison.
Click for Tickets was a front for Spanton to circumvent his director disqualification order and serious crime prevention order, which banned him from being the director of a company or selling tickets without informing the police, and Clapton, who had no knowledge of the ticketing industry, was aiding him.
The pair harvested large quantities of memberships at Premier League clubs, including Arsenal and West Ham, in order to buy multiple tickets for games, which were then sent to mailboxes and virtual offices in central London.
These tickets were sold on for up to 20 times their face value, often to tourists and businessmen from overseas.
Some never received their tickets or were unable to use them to get into grounds.
Police discovered that Spanton was in a massive WhatsApp group of nationwide ticket touts who acted in a similar way in their sales of tickets.
The total value of Spanton's fraud was £3,600. Due to his swift arrest, most of the ticket sales were stopped or the victims were reimbursed by their credit card providers.
Detective sergeant Rob Tickle, of the Met's organised crime command, said: "David Spanton is a ticket tout who has been involved in that industry for a long time. His offending goes back to the 1998 World Cup.
"For the first time Spanton has admitted that he is what many have suspected he was for a long time; a dishonest man and a fraudster. He sought to deceive Companies House, merchant service providers and Premier League clubs and lied to all to try to get what he wanted.
"Spanton has shown a complete disregard for court orders and has refused to change his behaviour.
"Within three months of leaving prison in 2016, he deliberately set up Click for Tickets as a bogus ticket agency to act as a front through his partner Jane Clapton who helped him."