CLUBBERS had a lucky escape after a wannabe con artist was caught with a fraudsters’ took kit including “how to” guides.

Gaddiel Konsa-Buka was waiting to snare victims at Colchester nightspots with a card reader and laptop when he was sniffed out.

A police officer on patrol caught a whiff of cannabis and followed his nose to a Mercedes with Konsa-Buka inside, who was acting strangely.

Further investigation found the 22-year-old had all the equipment needed to commit card fraud.

He was caught with a laptop with a database of potential victims’ details, from bank numbers to mothers’ maiden names.

He had a card reader, which he tried to hide from the curious officer.

Also on the laptop were guides and links explaining how to commit card fraud with techniques and tips to avoid detection.

It was suggested, by Ali Dewji, prosecuting, the defendant may have been waiting for accomplices to bring back cards from those enjoying a night out in Colchester.

Konsa-Buka was caught at 1.30am on March 18, 2016, and convicted by a jury after a trial, of possession of articles for use in fraud.

Mr Dewji, speaking at Ipswich Crown Court said: “He was charged alone. If there was a leader it would seem to be him.

“He had the material on his laptop.

“There were a large number of potential victims.”

There is no evidence Konsa-Buka was able to actually commit fraud.

The court heard the father-of-one had not been in trouble before.

He claimed someone else must have downloaded the “how to” manuals when he was a student in a shared house and claimed to have never seen the card reader before.

Recorder Rex Bryan said: “On the streets of Colchester a police officer saw you handling a card reader which is effectively in your lap.

“A number of people could have been targeted by the fraud that these articles were designed for.”

Recorder Bryan sentenced warehouse worker Konsa-Busa, of Audley Drive, London, to nine months in jail but suspended the sentence for two years.

He told the defendant it was “because you are of previous good character and because I don’t want to damage your career”.

Konsa-Busa will have to carry out 200 hours unpaid work, will have a curfew from 10pm to 6am for three months and will have to pay £1,000 of the £2,500 prosecution costs.

The rest will be paid by taxpayers.

The laptop, card reader and his iPhone have been forfeited and will be destroyed.