A SHOPPING channel conman who cheated the Post Office out of money in a £4,500 TransCash scam, is behind bars.

Bradley Navaratnam, 24, who got a television from QVC, had handed over a cheque for £1,270 at Bacup Post Office, but it bounced.

He claimed he sold the TV for £700.

Weeks later, he was 'clever enough' to open another QVC account in a false name. The defendant ordered property from the shopping channel worth more than £3,000, intending to 'steal' again, this time from Todmorden Post Office, Burnley Crown Court heard.

But, the hearing was told, Navaratnam was foiled when the QVC fraud office spotted the links between the real and fake account because they had the same postcode and the goods were never dispatched.

The defendant, of Fairview, Britannia, Bacup, admitted a £1,270 fraud on December 14, 2010 and a £3,233.59 attempted fraud on January 4, 2011. He was locked up for 30 weeks.

Jonathan Clarke, prosecuting, said when Navaratnam was arrested over the fraud, he contended the TV he had received had been damaged, he had tried to complain, had been unable to get his money back and that was why he had sold it.

The prosecutor added: "No complaints were ever received by QVC and had there been such difficulties, he would have received a full refund or replacement items."

Hugh Barton, for Navaratnam, said a great deal had taken place in his life since the offences. Last May, he received nine months in prison, suspended for two years, for producing cannabis, said his response to the order had been first rate.

He had completed 260 hours unpaid work with British Waterways and got so much out of it, he had gone back and done another 30 hours voluntarily.

Navaratnam, who had worked as a landscaper, in event management and had been a dog breeder, had been taking ketamine and cannabis at the time of the offences. He had stopped using ketamine, but recognised his cannabis use was an ongoing problem.

Sentencing, Judge Beverley Lunt told the defendant the offences had some degree of sophistication and were committed with knowledge of the TransCashsystem and processes. She said Navaratnam had been able to steal from the Post Office.

The judge added: "There is no uestion that for this level of planning and premeditation there must be an immediate custodial sentence."