A football fan was caught cashing in by selling forged BT Sport passes to desperate supporters outside a sold-out Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Chelsea.
Manchester City supporter Martin Joseph Keane, 59, had acquired the passes during a previous visit to Selhurst Park, following his own team.
Jobless Keane, of Ashley Court, Ashley Court Drive, Manchester was spotted by security staff ushering in fans to the £45-a seat main stand shortly before kick-off.
He pleaded guilty at Croydon Magistrates Court to fraud by false representation on December 17, last year, namely selling the forged passes for £90 each and entering the stadium for free himself.
He also admitted possessing an article for use in fraud, namely a forged BT sports pass and an expired Invictus Games pass and possessing criminal property, namely a fraudulent BT Sports pass.
Prosecutor Miss Jackie Hughes told the court Keane aroused suspicion by entering and then leaving the ground.
“He was seen talking to some supporters and then seen walking back towards the ground, where the security officer lost sight of him near entrance H.
“Staff at the entrance said he had led three people in with the passes.”
Keane was stopped outside and was found with five forged BT Sport passes on him and an Invictus Games pass, which had expired on January of that year.
“He said he approached two people and offered each pass for ninety pounds, but did not know they were false.
“He said he knew it was wrong, but was desperate for money, was in financial trouble and living with a friend.”
Keane, has previous convictions for deception and shoplifting, had £350 cash on him, which has been confiscated by the police.
His lawyer Mr. Nicholas Robinshaw said: “He’d come into possession of these passes the previous October when he was in London to watch Crystal Palace play Manchester City, he is a Manchester City supporter.
“He did not know they were fake, he thought they were genuine.”
Keane says he happened to be in London for Christmas and travelled to the ground because it was a big game.
“It was an opportunistic incident and he accepts he made a gain, but it was not substantial.
“He was in financial difficulties at the time, he is not in work due to significant health problems.
“He has not worked for some time and has been living off savings. It was very foolish and won’t happen again.”
Keane was fined £150, with £85 costs and ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge.
Magistrate Mr. Don McKerrow told him: “Fraud is always serious, but it is a while since you have been in trouble and you are not working and therefore have limited income and savings.”