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CHEAT IN LEO FILM COPYCAT AIR CON; Jailed for flight scam.

Byline: BRENDON WILLIAMS

A CONMAN obsessed with flying was jailed yesterday after fooling airlines in a Catch Me If You Can-style fraud.

Just like Leonardo Di Caprio in the blockbuster film about deception, Alexander Walters, 20, used dud cheques to buy pounds 40,000 worth of tickets during his five-month scam.

Merthyr crown court heard he used a chequebook from his failed company to buy flights to USA, Russia, Germany, Hong Kong Honolulu, Johannesburg and Sydney.

Tom Crowther, defending, told the court: "His travelling was pointless. He flew to Hong Kong, sat in the airport and came back."

Walters, from Brecon, Powys, admitted three counts of theft and four deceptions and asked for a further 12 similar offences to be taken into consideration.

He was jailed for six months.

The court heard Walters had been sentenced to two years custody in 2001 after phoning a bomb hoax to Heathrow Airport days after the 9/11 terror attacks.

Judge John Curran said: "Somebody who sets out on a campaign of this scale can only be dealt with by immediate custody."

b.williams@mirror.co.uk

CAPTION(S):

FRAUDSTER: Walters outside court yesterday
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 26, 2003
Words:191
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