Dru Marshall’s scheme was foiled after an eBay bidder asked him for proof (Picture: PA)
A fraudster who tried to sell a walking stick for hundreds of pounds by claiming it belonged to the late Queen has been fined.
Dru Marshall, 26, from Romsey, Hampshire, listed the item on eBay eight days after Elizabeth II died in September 2022.
Falsely himself as a senior footman at Windsor Castle, he insisted proceeds from the sale would go to the Cancer Research UK charity.
The eBay listing claimed the ‘antler walking stick’ was used by the Queen in her final years ‘as she struggled with mobility’.
Prosecutors say Marshall ‘hastily closed the listing’ after discovering police were investigating it.
By that point, its auction price had reached £540. On Tuesday he was fined £614 and sentenced to a 12-month community order with 40 hours’ unpaid work.
Marshall was arrested and his home was raided after he failed to respond to a demand for proof of authenticity from one of the bidders.
Marshall claimed the eBay listing was just a ‘social experiment’ (Picture: Solent News)
The 26-year-old told detectives his eBay account had been hacked by an anti-royal friend in Spain.
But forensic examination of his computer found he had Googled ‘how to delete an Ebay listing’ and terms related to the Queen.
Once the case was brought to court, he began claiming he had no intention to scam anyone and was just trying to carry out a ‘social experiment’.
Marshall told the court at a previous hearing: ‘I consider myself to be a royalist and just wanted to see what would happen.
Marshall said he felt he had committed a ‘monstrous betrayal of the house of Windsor’ (Picture: AP)
‘It was not about money or finances. It was curiosity. Bad curiosity but curiosity nonetheless.
‘I wanted to see how seriously it would be taken by people viewing the post.’
A hoard of royal memorabilia including a large framed portrait of the Queen and a copy of Vogue magazine with Princess Diana on the cover were found at his home.
He went on to say his actions were ‘stupidity at its finest’, adding: ‘It feels like a monstrous betrayal of the house of Windsor. It’s something I deeply regret.’
The presiding magistrate told him: ‘We did not find anything you said in court today credible.’
After Marshall’s sentencing, 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.’
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Dru Marshall claimed to be an ardent royalist carrying out a ‘social experiment’ to see how much interest the stick would get.