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Night out 'spree' leads to suspended sentence

Night out 'spree' leads to suspended sentence

Friday 19 July 2019

Night out 'spree' leads to suspended sentence

Using a found debit card for a spending 'spree' on a night out has led to a suspended sentence for theft and fraud.

Daniel Ioan Alecu, 22, found a woman's debit card at a bar in Town and used its contactless function to pay for over £80 worth of food and drinks.

The Magistrates Court heard that although the defendant later handed himself into police, the amount of transactions which totalled nine at three different establishments showed a wilful intent to defraud the owner of the card. 

Alecu had spent the day on 2 June drinking at various bars in Town when later on in the evening, he ended up at Amigo's bar on North Plantation. There the defendant saw a bright orange debit card on the floor near to the speaker. 

Between 22:00 and 01:05 Alecu used the card to buy drinks at Amigos (for £15.75, £12.40, £15.75, £12.00 and £11.70) as well as spending £4.00 at the Prince of Wales and £11.50 at Tiff's Takeaway in three separate transactions. 

The defendant apparently spoke to security from the bar the next day about the card and handed himself in to police. Advocate Paul Lockwood acting on his behalf said his client was of previously good character and his actions were entirely influenced by alcohol. 

 North Plantation

Pictured: North Plantation where the theft and much of the fraud took place. 

"It's no great mystery around the events. [He] would never normally do such a thing. It was one drunken spree," he said. 

Alecu was charged with one count of theft and nine counts of dishonestly intending to make a gain via a false representation - fraud. 

Judge Graeme McKerrell asked in court about the man's status under the Population Management Law which appeared unclear, a fact that made a community service order an inappropriate sentence, although the crimes were enough for the man to have been given a custodial or alternative sentence. 

"You said that having found the card in your intoxicated state you forgot you had it. You didn't forget you had it when you used it, there must have been an element of thought, you spent the least you could each time so you could use contactless."

Alecu was given a four month custodial sentence suspended for two years. 


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