Professional conman sentenced to five years at Winchester Crown Court

07/09/2012

A professional conman has today been sentenced to five years’ imprisonment at Winchester Crown court for having defrauding from their money women he had relationships with.

Nikki Haywood, District Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service Wessex: "Ellis Ward is a convicted professional conman and the true extent of his deception may never be fully known. He grossly abused the trust and the love of the women he had relationships with.

"Ward was released in October 2009 having served nine months' imprisonment for fraud. He was then arrested in February 2012 by Hertfordshire Police for offences that he committed after his release from prison. They arrested a man, who gave the name of Ethan Winchcombe, for offences of kidnap and impersonating a police officer. This male was in fact Ellis Ward.

"Both prior to his prison sentence and after his release, Ward had met and started relationships with women from various parts of the South and South East of England. From 2008 up to this year he told each of them numerous lies in order to defraud them from their money by taking credit cards in their names or loans. One of his biggest lies was claiming that he was a Metropolitan Police Inspector involved in the London disorders last August, and he set up a Twitter page, which attracted 3000 followers in this persona. He also gave interviews of his purported involvement in the Disorders on television and to national papers, one of which paid Ward for his stories.

"Like any good conman, he carefully prepared his stories, making sure that they were credible to his victims. To one he said that he was an Acting Inspector for the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Branch, which he had to leave because he was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He pleaded guilty to defrauding the victim and misusing her credit cards to obtain more than £40,000.

"Pure greed drove him to prey on another victim while he was having a long term relationship with another woman in Hertfordshire.

"There are no doubts that Ellis Ward's behaviour has been reprehensible and we hope that the victims in this case, who probably still suffer from the impact of his offending, will now be able to move on with their lives."