A conman who tweeted as a Metropolitan Police officer tackling London riots and posed as an army major injured in Iraq has been jailed for five years.
Ellis Ward, 29, of Bishops’s Cleeve, near Cheltenham, had also conned three women out of a total of £42,000.
His ‘riots’ tweets were followed by 3,000 people including newspapers, with one offering him £600 for a column.
The “accomplished fraudster” admitted to 18 charges of fraud between 2008 and 2012, Winchester Crown Court heard.
Ward tweeted and wrote a blog as “Inspector Winter” purporting to be on the frontline during the August 2011 riots in Tottenham and Croydon, which saw some of the worst of the rioting and looting in the capital.
Sixteen charges related to conning three women, the 17th charge related to the Daily Telegraph for writing his column and the final charge was using false police and military identity cards and uniforms.
‘Life of fiction’
The court heard Ward began his charade in 2008 by running up credit card debts of £30,000 in the name of a woman he had a relationship with.
He met his other two women victims online, one of whom was a police community support officer who later became a constable, and defrauded them of £12,000.
He had an array of uniforms, identity cards, and also carried false warrant cards, real handcuffs, and stop and search forms.
Ward had also posed as a Met counter-terrorism police officer, a major in the Royal Military Police calling himself Ethan Winchcombe or Sir Ethan Winchcombe, and an army personnel injured in an explosion in Iraq who worked in the Serious Organised Crime Agency. …