The much-publicised conviction of a DJ who cancelled numerous wedding bookings by falsely claiming his father died has prompted a series of other couples to come forward alleging similar fraud, a court has heard.
Rogue trader Michael Stockman, 30, has already been convicted for taking £800 from six customers before their marriage ceremonies or parties, only to fail to turn up - often texting his unwitting victims in Northern Ireland at short notice.
At least four times he claimed his father had died that morning or the previous day.
Coleraine Magistrates’ Court heard that Stockman, from Knockantern Green in the town, now faces 12 new counts of theft.
A prosecution lawyer told district judge Liam McNally that the fresh claims total around £1,200.
“As a result of the publicity around the first case a number of other complainants made themselves known,” she said.
Stockman’s lawyer Briege Martin said her client had already raised the £800 to pay back the money owed from his original conviction in January.
Ms Martin said Stockman, who stood in court dressed in jeans and a purple and white jacket, intended to pay all the money he owed.
Judge McNally was due to sentence Stockman in relation to the January case today but he agreed to a two week adjournment to enable the DJ’s lawyer to make representations regarding the 12 new counts.
He asked for a pre-sentence report to be compiled by the Probation Service.
“We can’t complete this case today,” he said.
“Because of the original (media) reporting a lot more aggrieved parties may get reimbursed.
“It’s certainly my intention that every aggrieved party gets the money back that they are owed by Mr Stockman.”
Stockman is due to appear in court again on September 19.