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FRAUDSTER FREED: Infamous conman from Kings Langley walks free after serving half his sentence

 Published on: 24th April 2024   |   By: Bryn Holmes   |   Category: Uncategorized

Infamous lottery fraudster Edward Putman has been released from prison, despite only serving half his sentence.

Putman, 58, formerly of Station Road, Kings Langley, was convicted of forging a winning National Lottery ticket and cheating competition operators Camelot out of a £2.5million jackpot in 2009. He had used a Camelot insider to help carry out the fraud.

In October 2019, following a trial at St Albans Crown Court, Putman was sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment and ordered to pay his “winnings” back.

However, the Daily Mirror has recently revealed that Putman has now been released only four-and-a-half years later, with large amounts of the cash he owes still yet to be paid back.

In a front page splash on Saturday, March 30, the Daily Mirror published an interview with a friend of Putman’s accomplice, Giles Knibbs. Knibbs took his own life in 2015 after Putman cheated him out of his share of their ill-gotten gains.

Knibbs had been instrumental in the plan, having worked in Camelot’s fraud department and created a total of 100 forged tickets in order for their scheme to work.

Knibbs’ anonymous friend said it was unfair the fraudster was walking free, stating that Knibbs had been exploited and had taken his own life as a result of Putman’s nefarious schemes.

It was stated in court that before Knibbs took his own life, he had threatened to go to the police and reveal Putman’s fraud if he didn’t give him his share of the winnings. Putman then had his former co-conspirator arrested on charges of blackmail.

Putman has been released under a new government scheme called the End of Custody Supervised Licence Scheme (ECSLS), announced to Parliament last October, which is designed to free up spaces in struggling prisons.

Those released under the ECSLS face tough restrictions after release, which can include wearing GPS tags, and being subject to curfews and exclusion zones, depending on the individual.

They can also immediately be recalled to prison if they are found to be in breach of any of the conditions of their release.

Originally, prisoners were allowed to be released up to 18 days before the end of their sentence, but on March 11 this year, this timeframe was extended to 35 to 60 days before release if deemed necessary.

The release comes despite Putman having also previously served seven years in prison for rape in 1991. He was also convicted of benefit fraud in 2012, despite having already become a multi-millionaire through his lottery winnings.

Whilst serving time in prison, he voluntarily paid back £94,000 of the money he stole. Prosecutors were later given the power to seize his possessions, several of which were sold at auction in October of last year.

However, after having settled his debt, Putman could still have £355,000 left in his bank account, though the courts do have the power to increase the price of the confiscation order.

Putman’s release comes shortly after the shelving of an investigation into a suspected incident of arson that took place at his Kings Langley home in October 2022, after police exhausted all lines of inquiry available in the matter.

This incident occurred shortly after Putman had found difficultly in selling the land.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice said: “We are creating an additional 20,000 prison places – the biggest prison expansion programme since the Victorian era – so we can lock up dangerous offenders for longer.

“Only lower-level offenders who are a matter of days before their automatic release date are being considered for the ECSLS and anyone convicted of a sexual, terrorist or serious violent offence is excluded.

“Governors can block the release of any prisoner and those who are released face strict monitoring and can be sent back to prison if they break the rules.”

The Ministry of Justice also stated that Putman’s release was relating to the fact that he was serving a sentence for fraud and had already served a full sentence for his rape conviction.

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