1. The cricket cheats
Bad sportsmen cheat to win, but the really wicked ones do it just to line their pockets. Such was the case with three players on the Pakistani cricket team, who took bribes from a bookmaker to deliberately underperform in a match against England at Lord’s in 2010. They were caught out by a News of the World sting and sent to prison for spot-fixing. Howzat!
2. The train fare cheat
Everyone hates a cheat, which is probably why a high-flying businessman recently coughed up £43,000 to settle out of court and maintain his anonymity in a rail fare-dodging case. The slippery senior executive managed to skip the daily fare between his rural home and London for five whole years, saving around £22,000 in season tickets. In the end it cost him twice that much to prevent the humiliation of being taken to court.
3. The rugby cheats
Rugby can be a bloody game – something Harlequins player Tom Williams banked on in the 2009 Heineken Cup, when he faked an injury by biting into a blood capsule. The crafty ploy was cooked up by the team’s coach, Dean Richards, so he could make a tactical substitution at a key point. The cheats were caught and reprimanded. Still, it was worth a try.
4. The marathon cheat
Here’s a lesson for cheaters: if you don’t want to get caught, keep your cheating subtle. Unlike, for example, Jason Scotland-Williams, the limber-legged chancer who purportedly took a shortcut at this year’s London Marathon to pull off a semi-miraculous run. Not only did he complete the second half quicker than Mo Farah, he also did it in half the time it took him to run the first.
5. The expenses cheats
The shysters who run our country can be the worst cheats of the lot. Whether it was porn, moat cleaning, toilet seats or a new duck house, the 2009 expenses scandal revealed how MPs from both sides of the political divide had used erroneous and frankly bizarre reasons to siphon off taxpayer money into their own pockets. And they call each other ‘honourable’.
6. The restaurant cheat
Gordon Ramsay has never cheated with his food, but he did admit to cooking up a sneaky plot on his journey to the top. In 1998, when he feared his former mentor Marco Pierre White was trying to depose him as head chef at Aubergine, he got a mystery motorcyclist to steal the restaurant’s reservation book (serious sabotage before the era of computerised bookings). He blamed it on White and destroyed any hopes his rival might have had to take over.
7. The speeding cheat
Blaming other people for your own cock-ups might as well be part of the job description for an MP, but encouraging your wife to claim she was driving your car when you raced through a speed camera is pretty rich. Top cheating marks therefore go to Chris Huhne, though his ex-wife Vicky Pryce and her friend Constance Briscoe have also proved less than trustworthy during the ordeal. Should have just taken those points, eh, Chris?
8. The exam cheat
Of all the elaborate ways you might have considered cheating in your school exams, we bet you never imagined the teacher doing it for you. But such was the case at Newton Farm School in Harrow last year, when a teacher took it upon herself to alter some of her Year Six pupils’ SAT answers in an effort to boost their grades. Newton Farm was, in 2012, the best performing primary school in the country.
9. The political cheat
There are conniving tricksters, then there’s Dame Shirley Porter. Dubbed ‘the high priestess of Tory sleaze’ by The Spectator, the former leader of Westminster City Council oversaw the ‘homes for votes’ scandal in the late ’80s, which secretly sold off council housing in an attempt to boost the number of Conservative voters in marginal wards. As a distasteful sidenote, Porter was also responsible for selling off three cemeteries in the borough for just 5p each to avoid paying for their upkeep.
10. The reality TV cheat
Nick Bateman’s offences are hardly comparable with the rest of those on this list, and yet he’s the one with the tabloid nickname and the first person to come up when we canvassed the Time Out office for famous cheats. It would seem memories of ‘Nasty Nick’ and his manipulation of housemates’ votes on the first series of ‘Big Brother’ linger long in the mind.
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