Man Jailed for impersonating innocent person in Merseyrail ticket fraud

A 31-year-old man has been jailed for 10 months after he repeatedly gave the name of an innocent man when he was fined for travelling without a ticket on Merseyrail.

James Francis Kelly, of Wallasey, pleaded guilty to committing a series of acts with intent to pervert the course of public justice and was sentenced to 10 months in jail at Liverpool Crown Court on Monday 3 July. He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £149.

The court heard how Kelly’s deception began back in October 2019 when he was issued with a fixed penalty notice for travelling without a ticket on a Merseyrail service.

Instead of providing his own details, he gave those of someone else; a former school friend.

Over the next three years, up until July 2022, Kelly continued his fraudulent activities on 26 separate occasions; each time he was issued with a fixed penalty notice he gave the details of the same person instead of his own.

The victim only became aware of the situation when a collection letter was sent to him demanding payment for the offences he had been found guilty of in his absence.

Following an investigation by British Transport Police, officers uncovered the discrepancy and exposed the extensive fraud.

Investigating officer PC Marc Atkinson said, “This was a blatant attempt to shift the financial penalty of his own acts onto an innocent person, which, had it not been challenged and investigated would have caused the victim substantial financial loss.

“This was not a sophisticated scam by any means but Kelly’s audacity meant that for three years he accumulated fines of up to £7,124.95 and passed them onto an innocent person.”

Images: James Francis Kelly/BTP

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