A man volunteered to organise a dream holiday for him and his friends before stealing thousands of pounds from them and moving to Canada.
According to the Yorkshire Evening Post, Leeds Crown Court heard how David Brown, 31, said he would book flights to America and hire a motor home, which would cost his pals £1,115 each.
He collected £5,556 from five friends between the end of summer 2010 and April 2011 but spent the cash paying off his debts and fled to Toronto.
Judge Sally Cahill gave Brown a suspended prison sentence and said: 'This, in my view, is an extremely mean crime. You, along with five of your friends, planned what would have been a special holiday which was going to cost quite a lot of money.
'Those involved had to save up and trusted you to take care of the money and pay for the holiday.'
Prosecuting at an earlier hearing, Georgina Coade said: 'The defendant told his friends that he had arranged the flights and motor home. He advised them where their flights were from and to. He said he had all the documents and tickets. He arranged to take them all to the airport and said they would be flying on the morning of May 5. It was all fictitious.'
Brown, from Skelton near York, was arrested three weeks later when he returned to the UK and told the police he was £40,000 in debt and was having trouble with bailiffs.
He was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years and ordered to pay his friends back, as well as pay £200 costs. Brown must also complete 200 hours of unpaid work.
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