VETERAN promoter Harry Darby, who sold tickets to scores of people for Isle of Wight shows that never took place, has admitted fraud.
Darby, 76, who lived in Shanklin and operated his business from High Street offices in the town, admitted three counts of fraud when he appeared at Portsmouth Crown Court, on Monday.
Darby had previously denied all the charges but changed his pleas on the first of what would have been a four-day trial.
In a deal brokered between his counsel and prosecutors, he sought an indication of what his sentence would be if he pleaded guilty.
Darby, now living in a caravan at Rollestone Mobile Home Park, at Shrewton, Salisbury, Wiltshire, was told if he was jailed, he could expect a maximum term of 12 months, with a ten per cent discount for pleading guilty.
His barrister, Richard Onslow, told the court his client only acted fraudulently because ticket sales did not generate enough income to pay acts.
Among them was the pop parody group, the Barron Knights, who had a string of hits mainly in the Sixties and Seventies but who continue to tour. They were to have come to the Island.
Darby admitted conning them by not paying the £900 he promised.
He pleaded guilty to defrauding That’s Entertainment Productions, who would have brought the High Jinx Magic Show to the Island and the Olde Tyme Players and Sinclair Productions Ltd.
The three offences, involving £2,080, took place between January 1, 2010 and September 30, 2011.
Darby continued to deny a further fraud charge, which was dropped by the prosecution.
He was bailed for reports and sentencing on a date to be fixed to avoid hospital appointments.