Trio jailed four weeks each over forged Ed Sheeran concert passes; fifth man charged

Ed Sheeran sings to fans in his first show of the Asia leg of his Divide Tour in Singapore on Nov 11. PHOTO: AEG PRESENTS

SINGAPORE - Three foreigners were each sentenced to four weeks' jail on Tuesday (Nov 28) over the fraudulent use of forged passes for British singer Ed Sheeran's recent concert at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

New Zealanders Scott Fabian Antony Penk, 34, and Michael Stanton Hardgrave, 30, admitted to engaging in a conspiracy to use a forged Ed Sheeran pass on Nov 12, with the intention of causing it to be believed that it was issued by the organiser, AEG Presents Asia.

Briton Martin Joseph Keane, 60, admitted to using a forged "Ed Sheeran All Area Access Family and Guests'' pass at the stadium that evening.

Tickets for the sold-out concert, held on Nov 11 and 12, cost between $108 and $248.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tow Chew Chi said Penk and Hardgrave obtained a few forged Ed Sheeran passes from unknown persons outside the stadium on the evening of Nov 12.

They used the passes to bring others into the stadium for a fee to watch the performance.

When two female teens sought their help to enter the stadium, Hardgrave donned one of the passes, and handed them a forged pass each to wear.

None of the security officers checked them as Hardgrave was donning the forged pass.

Once inside, the two girls paid Hardgrave a total of $200, which Hardgrave handed over to Penk.

Hardgrave repeated the same modus for another two women who paid him $400 in total, as well as a group of three who forked out $450. He kept the $450 for himself.

Both men collected a total of $1,050 from their fraudulent use of the forged passes. They were detained shortly by stadium staff.

As for Keane, the Briton, DPP Tow said sometime around October, Keane wanted to come to Singapore to buy and sell tickets relating to the concert. He communicated with Australian Paul Cosgrove, 56, who planned to do the same.

On Nov 11, Keane and Cosgrove went to the stadium. Cosgrove left for a while after saying that he could obtain forged passes to get into the stadium for the concert.

Cosgrove returned with a few forged "Ed Sheeran All Areas Access Family and Guests" passes which he handed to Keane. He said such passes could be used to bring others into the stadium.

Keane, who knew the passes were forged, would collect between $250 and $300 from interested concert goers and hand the proceeds to Cosgrove.

Keane would tell the interested parties to don the passes before entering the stadium. Once inside, he would collect the passes and payments from them, and reuse the passes.

He brought in four people on two occasions and collected $250 from each of them. He handed the $1,000 to Cosgrove, who shared it with him. Keane was detained when he tried to bring another three people in.

Meanwhile, Cosgrove was charged on Tuesday with scheming with Briton Luke Simon McKay, 49, and Keane to use forged passes as genuine on or before Nov 12. Bail of $10,000 was offered. His case will be mentioned on Dec 5.

McKay has since been charged with one count of abetment by conspiracy to use a forged "Divide A-A-A'' pass as genuine. He is in remand and will appear in court again on Dec 8.

The maximum penalty for the offence is four years' jail and a fine.

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