[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 25 June, 2004, 13:27 GMT 14:27 UK
Career criminal forged fantasy life
Alexander Farrar Walters
Alexander Walters was caught trying to board a flight to Sydney
A 21-year-old man has been jailed after using false airline tickets and cheques to travel around the world.

Alexander Farrar Walters, 21, tried to fly to Sydney first class using a forged ticket and funded a holiday in Gran Canaria using false cheques.

Walters was jailed for three years at Cardiff Crown Court after admitting 15 counts of fraud and two of theft.

The judge told him: "You are only 21 but you have already forged an interesting career in crime."

Last year, Waters was jailed for six months for using a chequebook from his failed company to buy flights to destinations including the USA, Hawaii, Johannesburg and Sydney.

And in 2001 he was sentenced to two years' custody after phoning a bomb hoax to Heathrow Airport just days after the 11 September terror attacks on the United States.

It led to a major security alert at the airport.

On Friday, Prosecutor Richard Evans told the court that Walters, of Grangetown, Cardiff, was caught at Gatwick Airport trying to get on a plane to Sydney.

Mr Evans said: "He went to the British Airways desk and presented a KLM flight ticket to Sydney.

"The ticket was somewhat unusual and the sales agent immediately became suspicious.

"Walters told him the ticket was booked in the name Dr Walters but it's clear the ticket had originally made out for another flight then 'washed' which involved the details being removed and the forgery put on top of it."

He was brought up thinking the world was a cold and hard place
Juliet Gibbon, defence lawyer

A week later, Walters opened an account with the Principality building society into which he paid false cheques.

He withdrew 1,500 and by the time the con was discovered he was on holiday in Gran Canaria.

The court was told he befriended two Welsh holidaymakers in the resort, but then stole from them when he returned home.

He took a driving licence and cash from one, before stealing a credit card from his second victim.

In May 2003, Walters opened a savings account with the Principality using a cheque from a foreign bank for 40,000 euros and two cheques from a dead relative of one of his victims.

Soviet orphanage

But staff at the building society raised the alarm and he was arrested later that day.

Walters admitted using a pen that dispensed computer-readable ink to alter the cheques.

Juliet Gibbon, defending, said the offences were partly a result of Walters' upbringing in a Soviet Union orphanage before he was adopted by a British vicar.

She said: "His early life was characterised by severe emotional deprivation.

"He was brought up thinking the world was a cold and hard place.

"But you can see the contrast between that upbringing and the lifestyle he is trying to emulate.

'Fantasy lifestyle'

"He describes his offending as a 'stupid game' and says it was an addiction."

She added he was living a "fantasy lifestyle".

Walters, of Grangetown, Cardiff - who was adopted by a Welsh vicar - admitted 15 counts of fraud and two of theft and was jailed for three years on Friday.

Judge Janet Case told him: "You are only 21 but you have already forged an interesting career in crime.

"You are obviously a convincing young man and people trust you when you befriend them.

"You are intelligent enough to do better thing with your life."




SEE ALSO:



PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific