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Llandysul man guilty of fraud after failing to deliver model railway layout

A Llandysul man has been sentencted to a 12 month Curfew Order with electronic monitoring and ordered to pay £250 compensation after pleading guilty to fraud.

Colin Harding, of Pontsian, Llandysul, was investigated by Ceredigion County Council’s Trading Standards (Public Protection) for fraud.  He had been trading as a model railway layout builder and had previously been sentenced for similar fraud offences in June 2019.

Aberystwyth Magistrates heard how Harding had misled a customer after failing to supply a model railway baseboard valued at £249.99.  When interviewed by Officers from Ceredigion County Council’s Trading Standards Service, Harding admitted that he was a conman and that he had committed fraud.

He had fabricated excuses for his failure to supply the goods, including the death of two relatives, trips abroad, and being let down by a courier.  When the deadline for delivery came and went, the victim contacted Trading Standards.  Harding had then made promises to refund the payments made by the victim, but these never materialised.

Harding was previously given a suspended sentence for earlier fraud and product safety offences.  His defence solicitor stated that Harding did not set out to defraud people and that his client had become overwhelmed by debt, ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul.’

On 17th December 2021, Mr Harding was given a 12 month Curfew Order with electronic monitoring from 7pm to 7am and ordered to pay £250 compensation within 14 days, a further £750 costs to Ceredigion County Council, and a court surcharge of £90. 
The Chair of the Bench told Harding that this was a terrible thing to do to the community, but that it was unjust to activate the suspended sentence in the circumstances.