Man from Exmouth conned people out of hundreds of pounds by selling fake puppies

BPM MEDIA - James King
James King has been jailed for 16 months. Credit: BPM Media

A man who conned people out of hundreds of pounds by advertising fake puppies for sale online has been jailed.

James King took deposits from people for Siberian husky puppies that did not exist. Five buyers were convinced to hand over £300 to King, who used pictures he'd found online.

He then made a series of excuses about why it was taking so long for the puppies to materialise.

When the buyers asked for their money back, King made up more tales and blamed the bank for delays.

One of his victim's paid an extra £400 on top of the deposit to secure the fictitious dog. None got their money back.

The fake puppy sale was not King's only scam, as he also conned a woman out of a BMW, the court heard.

Instead of paying the £5,000 he owed for the car, he told a series of lies about having a heart attack and needing emergency hospital treatment - even sending a photo of himself in a hospital gown.

While pretending to the woman that he was in hospital he sold the car to a garage, lying about a 'cancerous lump' he had just found.

After being 'discharged' the woman went to his address but he again feigned illness, even calling an ambulance to his house when she raised suspicions.She eventually reported the car stolen. It turned out that on the day King sent the photo of himself in a hospital gown he was actually selling the car to a showroom on Marsh Barton in Exeter for £1,750.

A 'very tearful' King spun more lies to the dealer about needing surgery to remove a lump.

The deceit came to an end after police stopped the BMW, which was eventually returned to its rightful owner.

The case was due to be tried by a jury after King initially denied the offences. He changed his plea on the day of the hearing.

Judge David Evans said: "It seems to me inescapable to conclude that you are a practised liar. Consequently it must be very hard for anyone to trust anything you say."The 38 year old from Exmouth has been jailed for 16 months.

The puppy scam happened over the summer of 2020 and the court was told it was not a case of a dog owner getting into difficulties with a sale.Mr Piers Norsworthy, prosecuting, said: "It was somebody who from the outset set out to con people out of money."

King admitted six frauds and a theft. The theft related to a BMW which King purchased without paying money for. The seller handed over the keys on his assurance the money had been paid but the bank was taking a few days to confirm.Judge Evans said: "You say you are very sorry but I'm afraid I don't believe you. Your remorse has been expressed far too late. Lying to others for your own gain seems to be a settled part of your personality."