Wimbledon ticket tout, Luke McKay has received a six-month jail sentence after being caught by undercover agents trading in black market tickets for the 2019 Championships via Facebook
It should be borne in mind that ticket touting is a detrimental activity, not just to the claimants but to other members of the public who want to go and watch tennis but cannot obtain tickets legitimately because they are in the hands of ticket touts. Mr Justice Chamberlain
The Evening Standard reported yesterday that McKay refused to reveal who his business colleagues.
McKay, from Kent, told a lawyer in the case he would “rather do ten years or die in prison than grass someone up who is so close to me”, and told the judge to her face: “I would rather go to prison than be a grass”.
He was initially handed a six-month prison sentence last December for contempt, but the jail term was put on hold to give him the chance to appeal which was dismissed yesterday by Lady Justice Simler.
In the December hearing, Mr Justice Chamberlain said ticket touts like McKay “must, when found out, cooperate for it is only through cooperation…that (Wimbledon) can stamp out, or seek to stamp out ticket touting”.
He added: “It should be borne in mind that ticket touting is a detrimental activity, not just to the claimants but to other members of the public who want to go and watch tennis but cannot obtain tickets legitimately because they are in the hands of ticket touts.
“They are a non-profit making organisation and they have to zealously guard the proceeds of ticket sales.”
The court was told that McKay, using the pseudonym ‘Peter Raven’, came under surveillance as a Wimbledon tout in 2017 with his Facebook page receiving particular attention.
In July 2019, an undercover agent managed to “infiltrated the group” by offering to sell McKay two tickets for the first Friday of the tournament.
The pair agreed to meet in a London pub where a second agent delivered the tickets and heard Mckay refer to his ‘boss’ who is believed to be named Greg Shepherd as reported by the Evening Standard.
“The second agent gave the tickets to Mr McKay in exchange for a cash payment of £250”, said Lord Justice Henderson.
“On 5 July, two individuals were found to be in possession of the tickets within the grounds and it eventually transpired that they had been purchased through a website controlled by a Spanish company which has been associated with many unauthorised sales.
“In the light of this evidence, it appeared plain to Wimbledon that Mr McKay was in the business of buying tickets for the Championships, that he was well aware of the different ticket types available, and that he can only have been purchasing them with a view to their onward transfer or sale.”
Yesterday’s ruling was delivered remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic, and discussions are now underway over how McKay begins his prison sentence though he could still avoid it if, within the next fortnight, he complies with the request for information concerning his business colleagues.