A father-of-one who conned his way into an exclusive area at Lord’s Cricket Ground with a dead man’s membership card he bought on eBay has been spared jail.
James Lattimer, 51, gained access to a members-only area of the world-famous ground with the fake card.
He was even seen wearing a Marylebone Cricket Club tie when he was stopped at the London venue in August 2019.
Lattimer had put his photograph on to a card which belonged to a member who died in 2014.
He had bought a general ticket to enter the ground but carried the card to get into Lord’s Pavilion.
Lattimer, who was stopped by security on suspicion of a separate offence of which he was later acquitted, pleaded guilty to fraud in November.
Southwark Crown Court heard that Lord’s membership is “very sought-after”.
It costs £1,000 to become a member, with a £600 annual fee thereafter, while there is a 29-year waiting list with 12,000 people on it, the court heard.
Sentencing Lattimer on Wednesday, Judge Michael Grieve QC said: “The use of a deceased person’s identity for any purpose is despicable and likely to cause great distress to (their) relatives.”
He added: “The forged document was your passport to a prestigious world and the best seats in the ground.
“What you gained was very sought after.
“You acquired the privilege people wait half a lifetime to acquire.”
Lattimer, from Bournemouth, stood in the dock and did not react as he was handed a ten-month sentence, suspended for 18 months.
He was told he must pay a £10,000 fine as well as prosecution costs of £425, and carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.
Suspending the sentence the judge acknowledged Lattimer, who runs a corporate cleaning company, had been “very publicly disgraced” over the offence, but added: “You have brought all of this on yourself.”
Jonas Milner, representing Lattimer, argued his client’s fraud had been “an unattractive and naive ploy by a cricket fan who let his desperation to experience the pavilion get the better of him”.
He said Lattimer was not aware the card belonged to someone who had died and was remorseful for what he had done.