Serial Birmingham ticket fraudster returns to jail

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A father of seven has been jailed for running a fake bus ticket scam from his Birmingham home, the Birmingham Mail reported.

Karlton Aish offered fake bus tickets in return for alcohol, the city’s crown court heard. The 42-year-old was previously jailed over the same scam in 2011.

He admitted selling counterfeit tickets to dozens of children who queued up at his Kingstanding home.

After his release from his initial 12-month sentence, he received a further two suspended jail terms. He has now been jailed for more than two-and-a-half years after police again found him conducting the same fake bus tickets scam.

Sentencing him to 31 months in prison, Judge Stephen Eyre QC said: “You have an appalling record for dishonesty. I have no alternative but to pass a custodial sentence.

“This was deliberate dishonesty at a time when you were in breach of two suspended sentences.”

Karlton Aish had previously admitted theft and possessing articles for use in fraud. The court heard a bus driver spotted Mr Aish stealing a roll of bus tickets after he and two of his sons boarded the service in Kingstanding on March 10, 2014.

Mr Aish claimed that he wanted the roll for one of his children to take to school.

Stuart Clarkson, prosecuting, said CCTV showed Mr Aish steal a ticket roll on another occasion while a number of fraudulent tickets had been previously seized by inspectors in January and February.

He said the fake bus tickets were similar to the real thing.

Officers raided Mr Aish’s home on April 17 and found false tickets as well as tickets in a bucket which had been rejected and a roll of blank bus ticket paper. They also recovered a computer and printer used in the fraud.

Mr Clarkson said the potential loss to the bus company was around £4,000.

Liz Deoliveira, defending, said at the time Mr Aish had an alcohol problem.

She said: “This is not a fraud that has made him a huge amount of money. He was giving people fake bus tickets in return for any alcohol.”

Mr Aish was originally caught out when several fake bus tickets were found by inspectors on the Number 33 National Express West Midlands service from Kingstanding to Birmingham city centre.

Witnesses reported seeing queues of schoolchildren waiting at his door to buy cut-price tickets, which had a face value of £3.60.