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Tuesday, 26 November, 2002, 21:56 GMT
Policeman fined over Harry Potter fraud
Harry Potter book
Burt used his stepson's name to sell the book
A West Midlands police officer who fooled a book dealer in an internet scam over a first edition Harry Potter book has been fined 750.

Detective Constable Andrew Burt, of Hollands Way, Walsall, was convicted of attempting to pervert the course of justice and dishonestly obtaining a money transfer by deception.

Birmingham Crown Court heard Burt had offered trader Steven Dean a rare first edition Harry Potter book in exchange for 310 but the trader had never received it.

Judge Derek Stanley, who also ordered Burt to pay 500 costs, expressed disbelief that the 32-year-old officer had risked his career to gain just 310.

'Terrible tragedy'

The court heard the East Sussex trader had taken Burt to a county court to recover his money and during the case the police officer had lied.

Burt had operated the scam over the internet using his 11-year-old stepson's name.

Judge Stanley said: "It's hard for anyone to understand what got into your head other than that you thought you could just push Mr Dean around.

"You have chosen to contest this trial and you have lost and the terrible tragedy is that you have thrown away your good reputation and you are bound to lose your employment."

Burt had denied the charges.


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See also:

18 Nov 02 | Entertainment
15 Nov 02 | Entertainment
04 Jul 02 | Entertainment
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