A convicted rapist and fraudster who used a forged ticket to trick the National Lottery into paying out a £2.5million jackpot was today (October 4) found guilty.
Edward Putman, 54, from Kings Langley was convicted after a jury heard how he and a Camelot insider conned the lottery operator.
The jury of seven women and five men heard it was just 10 days before the six-month deadline where the builder came forward with the ticket, which had been sold at the Co-Op at St John’s Road, Worcester.
Putman made the call to Camelot to claim the prize to the ticket which he said he found under the seat of his van. It was missing its bottom part, which contained unique numbers.
When Putman of Station Road collected £2,525,485, he said he wanted to remain anonymous.
Giles Knibbs, 38, who worked in the fraud department for Camelot, had helped Putman in conning the operator after coming across details of unclaimed lottery tickets, dates, times and locations of sales.
The scam only came to light over six years later, on October 5, 2015, when Mr Knibbs committed suicide and previously confessed to a former partner about his role in the scam.
In June 2015 Putman had gone to the police alleging Knibbs had threatened to reveal his previous convictions for the rape of a 17-year-old girl in 1991 and a benefits fraud in 2012.
As a result, Knibbs was arrested, so he told a former partner John Coleyshaw he was facing jail.
Knibbs sought vengeance on Putman because he had not given him his agreed shared of the winnings from the draw.
Prosecutor James Keeley said that unidentified deposits totalling £83,440 were paid into Knibbs’ bank accounts. He had purchased 12 Wildwood Avenue, Bricket Wood on 9 June 2010 for £320,000.
A mortgage of £225,499 had been obtained from Barclays. Four payments were made in May 2010 totalling £106,830.
Mr Keeley said there were also cash withdrawals from Mr Putman’s account saying it was reasonable to infer that at least some of the cash credits represented the partial distribution to Knibbs from the proceeds of the fraud.
But he said Knibbs was expecting to receive several hundred thousand pounds and “came to the conclusion that the defendant was rescinding the agreement.”
To carry out the fraud, Knibbs had to create 100 tickets with the winning numbers because each ticket had a unique ‘Check Sum’ number made up of two digits.
Putman had to try 29 shops with 29 different tickets before the right number was found. Mr Keeley said: “We now know that the defendant struck lucky at North Town Stores in High Wycombe.”
But the prosecutor said the ticket produced by the defendant was a fake because it was printed on paper not used at the Co-op in Worcester until after the draw.
The case was only reopened in 2017 when the ticket was eventually located by an employee at Camelot.
Putman denied his charged and will be sentenced later.