Prosecutors' plans to seize the jackpot winnings of Lottery fraudster Edward Putman have been put on hold because he is appealing his conviction.

Putman, 54, was jailed for nine years in October after he was convicted of using a forged winning ticket to claim a £2.5 million jackpot in 2009.

The former bricklayer had used some of the money to buy a house and land near the M25 in Kings Langley where he had planned to build an hotel.

His case was back before Judge Philip Grey at St Albans Crown Court yesterday for a confiscation hearing.

The press and public were cleared from the courtroom where the proceeds of crime hearing was adjourned until June 29.

By that time Putman’s appeal should have been heard. No date has yet been fixed.

During a trial last October, the jury heard Putman had conspired with Lottery insider Giles Knibbs, of Bricket Wood, who worked in Camelot’s security department, to present a fake ticket.

The actual winning ticket, which was never claimed, was bought at a Co-op store in Worcester on March 11, 2009. It had the winning numbers: 6,9,20,21, and 34.

On August 28 that year, just before the 180-day claim deadline, Putman called Camelot to come forward as the winner. In a call to Camelot to claim the prize, he said he found the ticket under the seat of his van.

It was missing its bottom part, which contained unique numbers. He submitted the deliberately damaged forgery, which was accepted as authentic by Camelot even though it was missing a barcode.

Although he pocketed the winnings, Putman, of Station Road, Kings Langley, was sentenced in 2012 to nine months for a benefit fraud after claiming £13,000 in housing and income support.

The fraud began to unravel on October 5 2015 when Mr Knibbs, 38, committed suicide at Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire. He had confessed to friends that he and Putman had "conned" the Lottery.

The two men had rowed about how the winnings were divided. In June 2015, Putman had gone to the police alleging Knibbs had threatened to reveal his previous convictions for the rape of a 17 year old girl in 1991 and a benefits fraud in 2012. He also reported that Knibbs had stolen his mobile phone and damaged the wing mirror on his car.

Putman, who arrived at court with his face masked and wearing dark glasses, denied that between August 28 and September 8 2009, together with Giles Knibbs, he dishonestly made a false representation, namely produced a fraudulent National Lottery ticket, intending to make a gain, namely £2,525,485 for himself. He was convicted by the jury of seven women and five men.

Passing sentence, Judge Grey said the "sophisticated, carefully planned, and diligently operated fraud" struck at the heart of the integrity of the National Lottery.

He said: "You would have got away with this but quite plainly you were greedy.

"Whatever the exact monetary split you and Mr Knibbs had agreed, you did not pay him what split he felt he was owed. The two of you fell out spectacularly.

"This crime struck at the integrity of the National Lottery. You have also undermined the public's trust in the Lottery itself."

In 2012, Putman was sentenced to nine months for benefit fraud after going on to claim £13,000 in housing and income support despite his jackpot win.

He was jailed in 1991 for seven years for raping a 17-year-old girl.

In December 2016, Camelot was fined £3 million by the Gambling Commission for breaching its controls relating to databases, the way it investigated a prize claim and its processes around the decision to pay a prize.

Putman was not present for today’s hearing.