A British scalper was handed a six-month prison sentence for his involvement in illegal trading of tickets to last year’s Wimbledon tennis championships.

Kent native Luke McKay was caught by authorities last year setting up a private Facebook group to trade black market tickets but had refused to name a comrade also suspected of taking part in the trade. McKay had directly told a judge he “would rather go to prison than be a grass” to avoid naming more suspects.

A six-month sentence for contempt was ultimately granted in December though McKay was offered a period to appeal the sentence. His appeal was remotely struck down this week by Lord Justice Henderson, Lord Justice Hickinbottom and Lady Justice Simler, according to the Evening Standard.

McKay’s scalping activity was first picked up in July 2017 and his Facebook account used to initiate trades – under the pseudonym Peter Raven – had been monitored by agents for the annual tennis tournament. Agents had infiltrated McKay’s online group last year and organized the delivery of tickets.

“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 unauthorized sales,” Lord Justice Henderson said in McKay’s original sentencing. “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.”

This week’s appeal ruling left open the possibility for McKay to have another two weeks to comply with court orders instead of surrendering to prison.

Last Updated on June 3, 2020

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