A conman known as Champagne Charlie, who was wanted for numerous fraud offences in Hammersmith and Fulham and other boroughs across London, was sentenced to five years imprisonment on Wednesday August 24 at Southwark Crown Court.
John Clugston 65, of no fixed abode from the Southwick area of West Sussex, was nicknamed "Champagne Charlie" as his scams involved him posing as a businessman and visiting offices, telling victims that he had bottles of Bollinger Champagne left over from a work function which he could sell on to them at a relatively cheap price.
However, once they handed over the money, (usually around £1,000 to £1,500), he would leave to get the champagne but never return.
He conned his victims out of more than £19,000 in cash over several months and was believed to have committed numerous offences across London including in the boroughs of Kingston, Southwark, Westminster, Lambeth, Camden, Hackney, and the City as well as Hammersmith and Fulham.
Clugston, was arrested back in July when the investigating officer, Detective Constable Anna Petherbridge from Westminster CID, spotted him on a bus at Clapham Junction on her way into work. She arrested him on the spot and he admitted to committing 28 offences.
Clugston was subsequently charged with six counts of fraud by false representation and appeared at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court, where he entered a guilty plea to all counts. He was remanded in custody pending today's sentencing where a further 25 offences were also taken into consideration.
DC Petherbridge said: "I am really pleased with today's verdict. Clugston was a conman who defrauded his victims out of thousands of pounds right across London and the sentence reflects this.
" I am sure all of the victims who were conned out of money will be delighted with the result."
August 26, 2011