A MUM who was raped by a Lotto conman who used a fake ticket to claim a £2.5million jackpot last night told of her joy as the “monster” was jailed for nine years.
Benefits cheat Edward Putman, 54, conspired with a Camelot insider Giles Knibbs to create the winning ticket – with the con only coming to light when the worker killed himself.
Details of his history as a sex beast were withheld at trial – but can now be reported following his conviction on Friday for Britain’s biggest lottery fraud.
His rape victim, who was a vulnerable pregnant 17-year-old when then-25-year-old Putman attacked her in 1991, told The Mirror of her “joy” at him being locked up.
She said: “I’m happy with the result. He is now where he belongs.
“He could be entertaining, he was funny, he made everyone laugh. Everyone thought he was the life and soul.
“But he was a monster. For the sake of everybody, not just me, it is good that he is going down for a very long me.
“I will be celebrating when he is behind bars.
“What he has done has had an impact on women and children. He has stolen, he is a dangerous, violent abuser.
“I always knew what he was capable of… but nobody else did. Until now.”
The builder, of Kings Langley, Herts, was jailed for seven years for the horrific rape and was forced to pay his victim £50,000 in compensation.
But Putman later went on to launch a “sophisticated and carefully planned” National Lottery con.
He and Knibbs hatched a plan to submit a deliberately damaged forgery just before the 180-day limit to stake claims expired in 2009.
Putman managed to scoop the eye-watering jackpot despite the bottom part of the mangled slip missing the barcode.
But Knibbs later started to get cold feet and confessed to friends that he had “conned” the Lottery.
He went on to take his own life after an angry row about how the winnings were divided.
Putman was yesterday found guilty of fraud by false representation after a two-week trial – and was slammed by the judge for being “greedy”.
Sentencing him, Judge Philip Grey said: “You would have got away with this but quite plainly you were greedy.
“Whatever the exact monetary split you and Mr Knibbs had agreed, you did not pay him what split he felt he was owed.
“The two of you fell out spectacularly.”
You would have got away with this but quite plainly you were greedy
judge Philip Grey
The court had previously heard Putman shopped his fellow conman to the cops, claiming he had threatened to reveal his previous convictions for the rape of a 17-year-old girl in 1991 and a benefits fraud in 2012.
Mr Knibbs took his own life in October 2015.
His former partner John Coleyshaw told the jury he had feared he would be jailed for ten to 15 years, adding: “He was in a bad way because he was worried by thought of going to prison.
“For want of a better word he had been shafted by someone he considered to be a good friend.”
Convicted benefits cheat Putman, wearing a Barbour-style jacket and blue jeans, said in the middle of the judge’s sentencing “I can’t believe what I’m hearing”.
HOW THE CON WORKED
St Albans Crown Court had previously heard Mr Knibbs had been working late one night during his time at Camelot when he saw a document being printed which contained details of big wins which had not yet been claimed.
He then had to create 100 tickets with the winning numbers because each ticket had a unique ‘Check Sum’ number made up of two digits.
Putman had to try 29 shops with 29 different tickets before the right number was found.
The jury of 7 women and 5 men, who were not told of Putman’s previous convictions, heard it was just 10 days before the six-month deadline for claims that the builder came forward with the ticket, which had been sold at the Co-op at St John’s Road, Worcester.
It had the winning numbers: 6, 9, 20, 21, and 34.
When Putman made the call to Camelot to claim the prize he said he found the ticket under the seat of his van.
It was missing its bottom part, which contained unique numbers.
The genuine winning ticket, which was bought in Worcester, has never been discovered.
The police investigation was impeded by the inability of Camelot to locate the original of the forged winning ticket.
It was only reopened in 2017 when the ticket was eventually located by a Camelot employee.
Detective Chief Inspector Sam Khanna of from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Serious Fraud and Cyber Unit said it had been a “complex” investigation.
He said: “We will be referring the this case to the Eastern Regional Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) under the Proceeds of Crime Act to seize his assets and recover as much of the money as we can.”
The judge said the fact Camelot had been “hoodwinked in this way will of course be damaging to its reputation”.
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In December 2016 Camelot was fined £3 million by the Gambling Commission for breaching its controls relating to databases, the way it investigated a prize claims and it processes around the decision to pay a prize.
A Camelot spokesman said: “We’re aware of today’s verdict and are pleased that this case dating back to 2009 has now come to a conclusion.
“It related to a unique, one-off incident over a decade ago involving a prize claim on a deliberately damaged ticket. It had nothing to do with The National Lottery draws themselves.
“As we acknowledged back in 2016, there were some weaknesses in some of the specific controls relevant to this incident at the time and we’re very sorry for that.
“We’ve strengthened our processes significantly since then and are completely confident that an incident of this nature could not happen today.”