UK

Man sentenced for claiming to be Queen’s footman for eBay scam

Dru Marshall attempted to sell a walking stick he falsely claimed was used by the late monarch.

Marshall was found guilty of fraud by false representation at Southampton Magistrates’ Court
Lucy McHugh death Marshall was found guilty of fraud by false representation at Southampton Magistrates’ Court (Andrew Matthews/PA)

A 26-year-old man who claimed to be the Queen’s footman has been sentenced for defrauding buyers on eBay who bid for a walking stick he falsely claimed was used by the late monarch “as she struggled with her mobility”.

Dru Marshall, from Romsey, Hampshire, listed the “antler walking stick” on the online auction site having claimed to be a senior footman at Windsor Castle.

The auction reached £540 before he cancelled the listing when he discovered that Thames Valley Police had launched an investigation.

Screenshot of fraudulent eBay auction created by Dru Marshall
Screenshot of fraudulent eBay auction created by Dru Marshall Screenshot of fraudulent eBay auction created by Dru Marshall

Marshall was found guilty of fraud by false representation at Southampton Magistrates’ Court where he was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 40 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £114 as well as £500 in costs.

A Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) spokesman said: “Just one week after the late Queen died in September 2022, Dru Marshall, 26 and now of Romsey, claimed to be a senior footman at Windsor Castle when he listed an ‘antler walking stick’ for sale via online auction.

“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.

“Bids reached £540 when Marshall hastily closed the listing after discovering Thames Valley Police were investigating the scam.”

The spokesman said that Marshall claimed that the sale “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”.

He added: “Prosecutors secured a conviction against Marshall by unravelling his ever-changing defence with extensive computer evidence.

“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’.”

Julie Macey, senior crown prosecutor for CPS Wessex, said: “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.

“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.”