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‘Loner’ web designer used Facebook scam to fund a secret life of gambling addiction

A web designer’s lonely life of gambling addiction came to light as he was handed nine suspended sentences for a series of Facebook scams.

Jordan McNamara created numerous fake Facebook profiles purporting to be a genuine seller of electrical items and clothing.

The 23-year-old of Exchange Yard, Stockton, managed to extort more than £1,000 from victims who transferred money for goods that never arrived.

He faced a total of nine charges of fraud by false representation stretching from September 2016 to January 2017.

The charges related to five separate profiles under aliases including ‘Carly’s Bargain Basement’, ‘Shaun Berrington’, ‘Michael Broadbent’, ‘Jason Murphy’ and ‘Sarah Butler’.

Teesside Magistrates’ Court heard McNamara used his fraudulent online activities to fund a “secret” life of gambling addiction.

Jordan McNamara at Teesside Magistrates Court
Jordan McNamara at Teesside Magistrates Court

It was revealed that his fruit machine use spiralled “out of control” at the age of 19, leading him to lose his own web design shop.

A probation report said: “He tells me there was no real trigger. He was with friends in Redcar one day and put some money into a machine.

“From then it escalated and it got out of hand.

“He said none of his family were aware. He described himself as a loner. He has no friends. He said he feels part of a family when gambling.”

Lisa Carney, defending, said: “Gambling has been Mr McNamara’s life since the age of 19.

“He has been living a lie since that age, lying to his family, lying to his employer, robbing Peter to pay Paul.

“A turning point for Mr McNamara is accepting that he has a addiction. He knows full well that is he doesn’t address the addiction he will end up in prison.”

He was handed nine eight-month concurrent sentences, suspended for two years, and ordered to pay £85 costs, £115 victim surcharge and £494 compensation.

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