Wimbledon ticket tout offered one more chance to avoid prison sentence

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A ticket tout that targeted Wimbledon and its tennis-loving fans has been threatened with a jail sentence by a High Court judge, should he fail to disclose his associates. 

According to reports, the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) took out an injunction against Oliver Hardiman in July last year, in order to combat ticket scalping. In December, the AELTC asked the High Court to send Hardiman to prison after he breached the order and entered Wimbledon.

However, Hardiman’s barristers argued that a fine or suspended sentence would suffice.

Last week, Justice Morris said that an immediate prison sentence would be “appropriate” but gave Hardiman a final chance to “purge” his contempt by sharing details of his associates.

Wimbledon’s injunction against Hardiman (which was issued by another High Court judge last year) barred him from unlawfully trading tickets for the tennis championships. It also banned Hardiman from being within the vicinity of the club’s premises during 2023’s tournament.

While the injunction required Hardiman to share details of his associates within 24 hours, he failed to do so and was also found touting tickets to people queuing for the event.

As reported by the BBC and PA Media, Justice Morris said: “I have given you one final opportunity to think again. You will have until 26 April to provide the information. If you do, then subject to anything the claimants have to say, it is likely you will not be going immediately to prison.

“If you don’t provide the information, you will.”

Additionally, Hardiman was ordered to pay more than £19,000 (€22,000/$24,000) in costs, which he must also pay by April 26.