A FORMER Bolton FM DJ has been jailed for 15 months for a series of frauds.

Popular entertainer and actor Matthew Davidge, aged 47, of Montserrat Road, admitted 11 charges of fraud and possessing articles in connection with fraud when he appeared at Mold Crown Court in North Wales.

Davidge, who was already serving a suspended prison sentence for a benefit fraud while he was working in Blackpool, was told by Judge Niclas Parry: “To describe you as a conman would be an accurate description.”

The court heard how Davidge, who presented a weekend show on the station and was involved in raising money for charity, was in a relationship with a woman in North Wales and had applied for loans in her name and her former partner's name.

A police investigation showed that he had in total made eight applications for loans to the value of £8,000.

An application for a credit card in a false name had been granted and he had spent just shy of £500.

Frances Willmott, prosecuting, said the woman, Sharon Farnington, found a USB stick in her computer on which were details relating to her former partner, Philip Davies. She deleted them and then put a new password on the computer.

There was an argument, Davidge was asked to leave her Dolwyddelan home and stayed at the Glan Aber Hotel in Betws-y-Coed, but booked in under a false name and ran up a bill. After he left her home, correspondence arrived which related to loans he had applied for in her name and in the name of her former partner.

Davidge had previous convictions for deception in 2007 and 2010 and received a suspended sentence for benefit fraud from Blackpool magistrates.

The prosecutor confirmed that the evidence showed that he had obtained £1,000 and a hotel stay but the potential loss was more because he had applied for loans amounting to £8,000.

Maria Massellis, defending, said that her client was aware that the court would be considering immediate custody.

His best mitigation was his guilty plea.

The offences had been driven by a dire financial situation that existed at that time.

“He does regret the offences,” she said, but stressed he had not offended since 2012 and he was now in a stable relationship with a new partner.

“My client has every intention of staying away from any further criminal activity,” she explained.

Davidge received an additional month – making 16 months in all – after he admitted a bail offence when he left court on a previous occasion.

The investigation, the court heard, had taken an inordinate amount of time and the offences dated back to 2012.

Davidge also did television “extras” work and he no longer had any financial debts, she explained.

In April last year we told how Davidge completed a six-night charity sleepathon at Asda, at Middlebrook Retail Park. He has spent the week camping out in the shop window and was visited by a host of famous faces including comedian Dave Spikey, Emmerdale’s Mark Charnock, former Coronation Street actor Bruce Jones, comedian and Crackerjack star Stu Francis.

Keith Harris, from Bolton FM, said the radio station suspended volunteer Davidge last December after they had been contacted by police. He has not been on air since the end of last November.