Three Cheshunt men given the one of the lower sentences after using the Depop trading website to con teenagers out of cash for goods that did not exist. 17 victims, mainly teenagers, parted with money for items including trainers, an iPhone and an iPad that were not delivered.

Prosecutor Simon Wilshire told St Albans crown court Friday 15th July that a Depop account had been set up in a false name, but the police were able to trace three defendants through their bank accounts. In total they had taken £5,277.93p. Officers identified victims who had lost a total of £1,412.93p.

 

A 21 year old and a 20 year old from Cheshunt pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud between June and September 2014. A 22 year old originally denied the charge but changed his plea to guilty on the day of his trial.

 

Sean Smith, for the 22 year old, said he was in full time work and had brought £100 to court to pay towards compensation. For the 20 year old said he was very young at the time of the offence, being only 18.

 

James Smith-Wilds for the 21 year old said he was not working but had signed on with an agency and could pay compensation and costs.

 

Judge John Plumstead told them: “You are young men who behaved very badly. You targeted a site largely used by young people to trade between themselves.”

 

He conditionally discharged them for 2 years and ordered them to pay £470.98p compensation. The 22 year old must pay £2,000 costs. The other two defendants must pay £566 costs.