A MOTHER and daughter planning to attend the Olympics in London were duped out of £3,800 after renting a non-existent flat over the internet, Bolton Crown Court heard.

Shirley Clark and daughter Gillian Carlson found a flat to rent through the internet site Sublet.com and, on February 9, 2012, Mrs Clark transferred the rental fee and deposit into a Santander bank account in the name of to Akinymika Oyedapo, of Selkirk Road, Astley Bridge.

But when the women arrived in the capital the next day to collect keys to the property they were in for a shock.

Roger Brown, prosecuting, said: “When Mrs Clark and her daughter went to London, to the building where the flat was supposed to be, they found it didn’t exist.”

Miss Carlson, who lived in Sweden at the time, had been sent photographs and details of the flat by a Michael Smith who claimed to be the landlord.

When she queried why the bank account was in the name of Oyedapo, he told her that was his secretary’s account.

After discovering there was no Flat 3 at Elm Park Road in London, the women tried to contact Smith but he did not reply to phone calls or email.

The mother and daughter then called police, who traced Oyedapo to Bolton and arrested him.

Oyedapo, aged 30, denies possessing criminal property. Mr Brown told the court that on the same day the money went into Oyedapo’s account, two £500 withdrawals of cash were made. The following day, £2,500 was taken out in cash and on February 11 that year, £157 was withdrawn, leaving the account empty.

“The only person who knows what happened to that money is the defendant himself,” said Mr Brown.

When questioned by police, Oyedapo claimed he had previously sold a work of art on eBay.

But there had been a dispute over it and he had withdrawn money to refund the purchaser.

Aoife Duhan, from eBay told the court records showed that in the last six years Oyedapo’s magnus4world account had listed six items for sale.

These included shoes, a laptop and a Renault Megane but no artwork. The case continues.