LOTTERY louts Mark Goodram and Jon-Ross Watson, who 'won' a  £4 million National Lottery scratch card jackpot using stolen debit card details, have been jailed.

Goodram, aged 38, of no fixed address and Watson, aged 34, of Nuttall Avenue, Little Lever, had each denied three counts of fraud but changed their pleas to guilty as their trial at Bolton Crown Court was due to start.

"I still can't understand on what planet, frankly, the defendants thought they were going to hoodwink a jury into believing they were not acting dishonestly," commented the judge, Recorder Sarah Johnston.

The pair had travelled to London from Bolton in April 2019 to go begging, with Goodram having written a stranger's debit card details on his hand.

He keyed in the numbers at Waitrose in Clapham when buying lottery scratch cards and they went on a bender in the capital, posting pictures of themselves celebrating on social media, when one of the tickets was the jackpot.

"You must have thought all your Christmases had come at once," Recorder Johnston.

But their joy was short-lived when they phoned  Camelot, which runs the National Lottery, who smelled a rat and refused to pay out the massive prize.

Despite using debit card details to buy the winning card, Goodram told them that he did not have a bank account into which they could pay his winnings.

"You had the audacity to plead your sense of injustice in the national newspapers," said Recorder Johnston, who sentenced Goodram, who also admitted breaching bail conditions, to 19 months in prison and Watson to 18 months.

Recorder Johnston told the pair that Camelot did not lose out by their actions but the next person to buy a scratch card at the Waitrose store did.

"That is an unidentifiable individual for whom fate has twisted at the very last minute and deprived them of a life-changing sum of money," she said.

"Your offending is rooted in greed and a total lack of respect of the property of others. Neither of you appear to have made an honest living at any point in your entire lives.

"And there is a significant irony, Mr Watson, of you pleading to The Sun newspaper, in the aftermath of your dishonest and failed claim to that prize, that money is the root of all evil when you so readily relieve other people of theirs."

Denise Fitzpatrick, prosecuting, told the court how the pair were in Clapham, London on Easter Monday 2019.

"Mark Goodram stated that the reason they had travelled from Bolton to London was to go begging because there was more money to be made begging in London than in Bolton," said Miss Fitzpatrick. 

Goodram had the number and expiry date of a debit card belonging to Joshua Addyman, a man he did not know, written on his hand.

And the court heard how he first used the details to buy goods worth £90.56 at Londis on Clapham High Street before heading to Waitrose at Clapham Common where they bought more goods, to the value of £71.78, including five £4 Million Red Game scratch cards.

Watson kept the cashier distracted while Goodram keyed in the card details again.
When the fraudsters scratched the card surfaces they found they had two winning tickets — one was a £10 win which they cashed in at Londis, but the other was the winning jackpot card.

"They both knew that the scratch card had been purchased by false representation by using a debit card they knew they were not entitled to use," said Miss Fitzpatrick.

They immediately tried to claim the £4 million prize by calling the National Lottery telephone number and spoke to the operator who confirmed that the scratch card contained the winning numbers.

"Mark Goodram was told that, due to the amount of money he had won, payment would be made by a bank transfer but Mark Goodram explained that he did not have a bank account," said Miss Fitzpatrick, who said that suspicions were immediately raised.

The organsiation began investigating and discovered that Goodram had used the unusual payment method of keying in card details rather than using the card itself and discovered that the debit account was in the name of Mr Addyman.

Goodram claimed that the debit card details belonged to a friend called John who owed him money, but he did not know his surname or where he lived.

When Camelot refused to pay out the prize Goodram and Watson told their story to The Sun.

Camelot passed the investigation to the police and the pair were each charged with three counts of fraud by making false representation.

The court heard that they have only benefited from their crime, which was committed while they were both on licence from prison, to the amount of £162.34, which has been refunded by Mr Addyman's bank to his account, plus the £10 cash scratch card win.

The court heard that both defendants already had lengthy criminal records. Goodram has 24 previous convictions for 48 offences and Watson has 75 convictions for 145 offences.

Robin Kitching, defending Goodram, said the drug and alcohol addict had been homeless when he bought the scratch card.

"This was an attempt which was doomed to failure," said Mr Kitching.

"For someone with his background, to be faced with the possibility of winning a sum of £4 million, one can only imagine the effect on him."

Nicholas Ross, defending Watson, said the chances of the defendant winning had been one in four million.

"This in many ways had been fantasy money, Monopoly money and when that figure popped up it was in absolute, total disbelief," he said.

He added that Watson has been adversely affected by publicity surrounding the fraud.

"He finds himself shamed and ridiculed by members of the public," said Mr Ross.