A COPYTHORNE man duped a friend into handing over more than £25,000 after convincing him he should buy ten antique cars, including a Bentley and a Mercedes, from a woman.

But it was a con. The cars did not exist, Southampton Crown Court heard.

Mark Halford, 51, of Pound Lane, admitted fraud for which he received an 18-month jail sentence suspended for 12 months and a 120-hour unpaid work order.

Prosecutor Eleanor Fargin said Halford had already repaid Wayne Holbrook nearly £5,000 and when he appeared for sentence, he returned another £1,200.

In mitigation, Richard Martin said Halford had gone off the rails following the loss of his home and the collapse of his marriage.