Page last updated at 14:55 GMT, Friday, 2 October 2009 15:55 UK

IT expert forged railway tickets

Jonathan Moore
Jonathan Moore was caught during a routine ticket inspection

An IT consultant who forged rail tickets saving himself nearly £12,500 in fares has been given a nine-month suspended sentence.

Jonathan Moore, from Hove, admitted fraud after being caught with a false ticket by an inspector in November.

Brighton Crown Court heard the 27-year-old used his computer expertise to design and produce the tickets for trips between East Sussex and London.

Another 11 fake tickets dating back to 2006 were found in a plastic wallet.

Moore, of Goldstone Villas, was caught during a routine inspection on the Bedford to Brighton service.

You did this to save yourself a considerable amount of money
Judge Richard Hayward

The court heard the inspector noticed subtle differences in the colour and material of his ticket.

On a laptop, later seized from his home, police found designs for more than 70 fake three and six-monthly tickets.

In August Moore pleaded guilty to fraud, making 74 forged travel tickets and possessing 11 forged tickets.

Defence counsel Martin Cray said Moore, who had no previous convictions, quit his IT job after his employers indicated they would take disciplinary action.

He said he could offer no excuse for his client's actions other than to say he was undergoing difficulties both at home and at work.

'Sophisticated fraud'

In mitigation, Mr Cray said Moore had cooperated to the "fullest possible extent".

"He made an initial admission on the train to the officers, then at his home he showed them all the files on his computer."

Sentencing him, Judge Richard Hayward described it as a "skilful and sophisticated fraud committed over a long period of time" to save Moore the cost of rail travel.

In addition to his suspended prison sentence and the £12,472 he will have to repay, Moore was handed a 240-hour unpaid work order and told to pay £510 costs.

Judge Hayward told him: "You are a computer expert who had a good job but you struck upon the idea of using your skills to scan and then produce rail tickets between Brighton and London.

"You did this to save yourself a considerable amount of money.

"It's very sad that you should use your skills for a fraudulent purpose."

Det Con Rob Cager

Det Con Rob Cager said the victims are the travelling public

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