Man pretending to be Queen Elizabeth’s footman, selling ‘antler walking stick’ that never belonged to her sentenced


(LONDON) — An internet seller who tricked eBay users into bidding for a walking stick that he falsely said belonged to Queen Elizabeth II has been sentenced.

Dru Marshall, a 26-year-old man from Romsey, England, claimed to be a Senior Footman at Windsor Castle — one of the queen’s many homes and where she was buried following her funeral in 2022 — when he listed an “antler walking stick” for sale via online auction just one week after she passed away, according to the Crown Prosecution Service.

“In his eBay listing, Marshall said the Queen used the stick in her final years ‘as she struggled with her mobility’ and dishonestly claimed the money raised would go to Cancer Research UK,” CPS said in their statement. “Bids reached £540 when Marshall hastily closed the listing after discovering Thames Valley Police were investigating the scam.”

Marshall was subsequently arrested and would plead not guilty to fraud by false representation, “at different times claiming the venture was not a scam but a joke made in bad taste and later a social experiment to see how much attention his post would receive,” authorities said.

However, prosecutors secured a conviction against Marshall “by unravelling his ever-changing defence with extensive computer evidence,” CPS said. “Debunking the claim his account had been hacked by a friend in Spain, prosecutors used Marshall’s online search history to show his intent to defraud potential victims by finding the terms ‘the Queen’ and ‘how to delete an eBay listing.’”

Marshall was sentenced to a 12-month Community Order on Monday at Southampton Magistrates’ Court and was also ordered to complete 40 hours of unpaid work.

“Dru Marshall used the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to try and hoodwink the public with a fake charity auction – fuelled by greed and a desire for attention,” said Julie Macey, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS Wessex. “Marshall’s scheme was ultimately foiled before he could successfully con any unsuspecting victims – and the CPS will continue to work hand-in-glove with law enforcement to bring fraudsters to justice.”

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.