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Wimbledon ticket tout facing jail as judge gives option of snitching on 'associates'


A Wimbledon ticket tout has been given a final chance to avoid jail. A High Court judge told Oliver Hardiman he must disclose his associates by April 26 or go “immediately to prison”. He is also required to pay more than £19,000 in costs by the deadline. Wimbledon tickets are issued through a ballot system run by the All England Lawn Tennis Club.

In December, the AELTC asked the High Court to jail Hardiman when he breached an injunction which barred him from unlawfully trading Wimbledon tickets and being around the club’s premises during the 2023 edition of the tournament. 

On Tuesday, Mr Justice Morris gave Hardiman one more chance to avoid an immediate prison sentence, despite claiming that the punishment was “appropriate”. He said the ticket tout could “purge” his contempt by disclosing the details of his associates. 

“I have given you one final opportunity to think again,” the judge directly told Hardiman. “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.”

Mr Morris also said the sentence would be suspended until a hearing on April 30. It comes after Hardiman’s barristers argued that a fine or suspended sentence would be sufficient punishment.

The All England Club obtained their injunction through a different High Court judge. As well as barring him from ticket trading and being at the club, Hardiman was required to share details of his associates within 24 hours. But he was found touting tickets to those queuing for the tournament and he did not provide information about other touts.

At a hearing last month, barrister Edward Rowntree, representing the AELTC, said touting “puts people off” the sport. He called for Hardiman to be jailed, claiming that he “knowingly and consciously” failed to comply with the injunction.

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