Fraud artist jailed

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A SCAM artist who confused cashiers into handing over hundreds of pounds has been jailed for 12 weeks.

Mark Coe, 23, is already serving a 16-week sentence in Norwich prison for similar fraud offences.

He admitted four counts of fraud when he appeared before Bury St Edmunds magistrates last Thursday.

Rosalind Cappleman, prosecuting, admitted to police that he went into the shops and a pub, ‘to make a scam’.

She said Coe went into the Wickes store in Thetford where he asked a 17-year-old female cashier to change six £10 notes for three £20 notes.

But after she did she said she saw him fold the notes and then claim that she still owed him £40.

In a statement, the girl said: “I told the man I gave him the correct amount. He said, ‘Do I look like I need the money, look at my clothes’.

“The man kept talking. I became really confused. I said I would call my manager to check the till.”

She also said she became worried after seeing him clench his fist.

He eventually took the £60 he originally gave her and walked out calling her a ‘stupid bitch,’ said Mrs Cappleman.

“The whole incident really upset me,” said the girl. “I was worried that the manager would think it was my fault. I really don’t want to go back to work there,” the girl told police.

Coe also tricked a barman at the George Hotel in Swaffham out of £20, and a cashier at Waitrose in Wymondham out of £240.90.

He tried but failed to get a cashier at Sainsbury’s in Theford to hand over an unspecified sum of cash.

The offences happened between November and April. The court heard Coe had 32 previous convictions.

Mrs Cappleman said Coe used the same method in each offence, speaking quickly in an effort to confuse the cashier.

Lyndon Davies, in mitigation, said Coe had previously used cocaine but had undergone a detox in jail and is now only on medication for anxiety which is linked to his previous drug use.

He said Coe has also applied to the Prince’s Trust for funding to start up his own burger van so that he can support his pregnant girlfriend.