A low-rent recidivist con man who targeted eBay customers was jailed for two years on Tuesday. Phillip Shortman, 20, from Cwmbran near Newport in south Wales, was sent to a young offenders' institution following a conviction for ripping off consumers to the tune of Â£14,000 and breaching the terms of his probation. Shortman was given an eight-month suspended sentence in January after he was convicted of buying thousands of pounds in stolen fuel cards. He was also found guilty of another Â£45,000 eBay fraud in 2005, an offence that earned him a year in a detention centre.
This time around the married father-of-two ran bogus auctions for items including 2006 Ryder Cup tickets, a Sony camcorder, and hi-tech mobile phones. He also obtained goods including a Â£250 laptop and computer parts without payment. Shortman responded to requests for payment for the laptop by sending abusive emails to the seller.