A fraudster ripped off a dozen branches of the same High Street bookmakers by using frozen bank cards or empty accounts to lay bets.

Terry Edwards was jailed for four years for placing a raft of dodgy wagers at 12 different Ladbrokes shops across London and the Home Counties between 2008 to 2010.

He would pay with credit and debit cards that had either been suspended by the issuer or were linked to accounts with too little credit to cover the transaction.

The 44-year-old, of St Neots, Cambridgeshire, went on to blackmail a senior employee at the company's head office in Rayners Lane, north-west London, to the tune of £24,000 in September 2011.

On the same day he burgled a branch of the betting shop chain in Mayfair, central London.

Edwards was convicted of 13 counts of fraud by false representation, one of blackmail and one of burglary at Harrow Crown Court on Wednesday and was sentenced there yesterday.

A Ladbrokes spokesman said: “Our colleagues are pleased that this serial fraudster has been convicted.”

It is not known whether Edwards won any of the bets placed.

Edwards struck in:

  • Harrow, north-west London, on December 11 2008
  • Victoria Station, central London, on January 11 2009
  • Kensington High Street, west London, on February 25 2009
  • Kings Cross, central London, on March 18 2009
  • Bedford, Bedfordshire on March 21 2009
  • Harlow, Essex on April 2 2009
  • Hounslow, west London, on March 13 2010
  • Richmond-Upon-Thames, south-west London, on April 5 2010
  • Esher, Surrey, on April 7 2010
  • Bedford on July 8 2010
  • Eastleigh, Hampshire, on July 13 2010
  • Barking, east London, on August 13 2010
  • Stanmore, north-west London, on November 5 2010