Fraudster conned buyer with brazen iPhone sleight of hand
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A fraudster conned a mobile phone shop out of £1,600 with a brazen act of sleight of hand involving four fake handsets.
Andre Foreshaw, aged 34, entered a shop in Alfreton Road, Nottingham, and offered four immaculate looking iPhones for sale.
The shopkeeper – after checking each device to ensure they worked and were not stolen – offered £400 for each for the handsets, which had been bundled together with distinctive red elastic bands
After initially rejecting the offer, Foreshaw walked towards the other side of the shop before changing his mind and agreeing to the sale.
Unbeknowns to the victim, Foreshaw had already performed a switch and instead handed over four identical looking fakes – again wrapped in distinctive red elastic bands.
After receiving the cash, he left the store shortly before his deception was discovered on the afternoon of 30 November 2022.
Foreshaw was caught around a month later when he was spotted in Nottingham city centre by his victim, who immediately recognised him and flagged down a passing police car.
When he was searched by police he was found to be in possession of the same items – real and fake phones wrapped in distinctive red elastic bands – and taken into custody.
Forehew, of Eglington Road, Ebbsfleet, gave no comment answers to all questions posed to him, and later pleaded not guilty to a charge of fraud by false representation.
After a trial at Nottingham Magistrates court on 20 September 2023 he was found guilty of the offence and was sentenced this week.
Appearing at Nottingham Crown Court on Wednesday he was handed a 12 month jail sentence suspended for two years. He was also ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work and to pay compensation of £1,600.
Arresting officer PC James Russell-Taylor, of Nottinghamshire Police, said:
“This was a brazen deception carried out on a diligent and unsuspecting victim. After performing all the checks we’d expect from a potential buyer, he was understandably duped by this well-rehearsed sleight of hand act,
“Had we not intervened when they did, it seems likely that Foreshaw would have gone on to repeat this scam with other victims.
“I hope his conviction and sentence serves not only as a warning to others thinking of committing similar offences, but also to potential buyers to be aware of this kind of deception."