A conman accused of a trip to the seaside to swindle cash by claiming he had been short-changed had twice targeted hospice charity shops, a court heard.

Daniel Ward, 38, of Burnsall Close, Fordbridge, Solihull, pleaded guilty to eight frauds at Llandudno, Llandudno Junction and Conwy on August 6. He claimed he didn’t realise he’d been to St David’s Hospice shops.

Prosecutor James Neary told magistrates at Llandudno :”It would be impossible not to know you were in a charity shop. Here is a man out of the area targeting businesses in this area.”

He’d committed fraud in Somerset and Cheshire previously. “This is what he does,” the prosecutor declared. It was a pre-planned expedition, he alleged.

Jailing Ward for 24 weeks and ordering him to pay compensation on his release, court chairman Toby Prosser told the defendant :”This was a spate of offending which was appalling.”

Mr Neary said Ward had visited busy pubs, ordered drinks, then returned to bar staff and claimed he had been short-changed. He was described as very convincing. Hospice shop assistants discovered they’d be targeted when they counted the takings.

A PC became aware of the scam from online group chats.

A probation officer said Ward had been in the military, then a lab technician and was now on benefits. He claimed he’d borrowed from a loan shark and was receiving threats.

Defence solicitor Gwyndaf Pari said, according to Ward, his grandmother lived at Llandudno and he visited with his wife. While in North Wales the loan shark had visited his home again and because of the threats “he fell back to his old ways.”

The lawyer said £130 was obtained in all.