Stolen Turf tickets sold on facebook

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A BURNLEY teenager who got hold of two stolen Burnley season tickets was able to sell them through Facebook.

But Blackburn magistrates heard the “black market” transaction came unstuck when the rightful owner and the new “owner” came face to face at “their” seats.

Joshua Lee Smith (18), of Fraser Street, Burnley, pleaded guilty to arranging to handle stolen goods. He was ordered to pay £200 compensation to Scott Mitchell, who bought the tickets, and £80 to the original owner, Craig Kippax, who paid that amount for replacement tickets.

Catherine Allan (prosecuting) said Mr Kippax held a season ticket for himself and one for his son. They had been to a match on September 10th and he inadvertently left the season tickets in his car. They were stolen and shortly after came into the possession of Smith. With the help of a friend he offered them for sale through Facebook and Mr Mitchell bought them for £200.

“Mr Mitchell was happily sitting in his seat when Mr Kippax, who had purchased replacement tickets came to claim his seat,” said Miss Allan.

Nick Dearing (defending) said Smith was a talented footballer himself and had won a place on a prestigious coaching course at Myerscough College. He lost his place after the college discovered he had previous convictions.

“His girlfriend had a child and he started to commit acquisitive crime,” said Mr Dearing. “He heard these tickets had come onto the black market and without any sophistication he was able to sell them.”