Live events sector
Christine Babb, an East Grinstead “con woman” who sold non existent Glastonbury Festival tickets to scores of music fans may be facing prison. Babb, 34, of Farm Close East Grinstead, raked in over £23,000 by claiming to be able to sell tickets to hugely popular events like Glastonbury. Such was her notoriety that Glastonbury issued an official statement warning: “Nobody called Christine Babb is either employed by Glastonbury Festival or has any tickets to sell for the Festival. PLEASE remember that you can only buy Glastonbury tickets through official sources and that this year’s Festival is entirely Sold Out.” Hammersmith Magistrates Court heard that Babb’s campaign of fraud lasted nearly a year, between August 2013 and July 2014. She admitted 29 offences of fraud by false representation.
Prosecutor Tom Gill said: “This defendant told her victims that she worked in the music industry and could get discounted tickets to various events including [the] Glastonbury Festival. “There are 29 victims of this offence who paid for their tickets that they didn’t receive.” The court heard that Babb has previous convictions for ‘very similar’ scams. For the defence, Jyothi Somavarapu explained in mitigation that her client suffered from borderline personality disorder, Crohn’s disease and bulimia.
Reflecting the seriousness of the offences, the Crown Prosecutor told the Court its “sentencing powers are not sufficient” and District Judge Jeremy Coleman declined jurisdiction and, ordering pre-sentence reports, he committed the case to the Crown Court and order reports to be prepared for that hearing.
Babb was released on unconditional ahead of sentence at Isleworth Crown Court on 12 May but Babb’s case was then moved to Devon where one further charge was added and after a hearing at Exeter Magistrates Court where Babb pleaded guilty to a further charge of fraud on April 22nd, just six days after her earlier conviction. She is now in custody awaiting sentencing for all 30 offences at Exeter Crown Court on May 12. The North Devon Journal reported that Babb now lives in popular holiday and surfing spot Croyde, near Braunton in North Devon, according to Devon and Cornwall Police.