Probation for stealing purse and going on spending spree

Police search for tools stolen in Newtownhamilton

The case was heard at Craigavon Magistrates' Court.

Staff Reporter

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A Belfast man, who went on “contactless card spending spree”, has pleaded guilty to seventeen counts of fraud by false representation.

The case of Gerard Michael Martin, (48), of Sheridan Street, was heard at Craigavon Courthouse sitting on Friday, November 19.

The court heard that on November 15, 2018, police received a report of a theft of a purse in the Portadown area after the injured party let two males in her house to buy a TV after placing an advertisement on Gumtree.

The report was made to police after the injured party’s bank contacted her to explain suspicious spending activity in the Dungannon and Craigavon areas.

CCTV footage of a male using a bank card matched the same description that was given to police by the injured party and he provided a ‘no comment’ interview.

Despite the best interests to identify the other male in the case, police’s efforts were unsuccessful.

In his defence, the court was told that this was a “sinister case” involving a “contactless card spending spree”, however, Martin fully accepts that he must pay all of the costs back.

District Judge Bernie Kelly remarked: “this is a very serious offence and you drove and assisted the other male whilst refusing to provide information on who he was”.

Martin was imposed with 18 months probation and ordered to pay £82.93 to Halifax and £169.97 to Tesco Bank.

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