A fraudster faked a dead man’s membership card to use as a “passport to a prestigious world” and get the best seats at Lord’s cricket ground.
In what the judge at Southwark Crown Court described as a “despicable” act, James Lattimer bought the card of a Lord’s member who died in 2014 on Ebay and glued his own photo on it.
Lattimer, 51, from Bournemouth, was found with the faked pass in August.
He admitted fraud, was fined £10,000 and given a suspended prison sentence.
It costs £1,000 to become a member of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), known colloquially as the home of cricket, and there is a £600 annual fee thereafter.
The court heard there was a 29-year waiting list with 12,000 names on.
Lattimer, of Green Road, used the faked card to get into an exclusive members-only area after buying a ticket to enter the ground.
Edmund Blackman, prosecuting, said when police spoke to Lattimer about a separate matter, he appeared to be drunk and the only identification he had on him was the “much sought after” card.
The card was in a wallet showing it was valid for 2013 but it had been folded so the date was not visible, the court was told.
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”.
Judge Michael Grieve QC said Lattimer, who owns a corporate cleaning company, had been “publicly disgraced”.
He told the defendant the use of a dead person’s identity for any purpose was “despicable”.
The judge 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.”
In addition to the fine, he ordered Lattimer to undertake 150 hours of unpaid work and gave him a 10-month jail term suspended for 18 months.