| Bookmakers across the UK held a collective sigh of relief yesterday when they were told that Pencil Man had been arrested and safely placed in jail. Pencil Man, aka John Bailey, is the UK’s most feared fraudster.|
The UK’s betting shops have been on red alert since Bailey failed to attend court to receive an expected jail sentence in January. But Bailey was finally captured in Liverpool by police and has been put in custody to await sentencing in the next four weeks.
His nickname ‘Pencil Man’ comes from his favoured method of fraud. The 32 year old used his charming patter to distract the counter staff of small betting shops. Having stolen the bookmaker’s copy of a betting slip once it had been stamped and approved he would make a further more complicated bet, scribbling on the original – already knowing the winner. Slipping the original back to the counter staff he would then return later to collect his winnings.
Simple but massively effective. Over his six year career Bailey is estimated to have made at least £1 million. No wonder he had the entire Association of British Bookmakers fretting about him. Well they can relax now that he’s behind bars – until his release anyway.