A man chargee with identity theft was ordered to complete a 150-hour Community Service Order and pay £150 in compensation by the District Judge at Londonderry Magistrates Court.
John Monteith (52), from Quarry Street, pleaded guilty to five charges of fraud by false representation between February and June 2013.
The court heard Monteith was living at Ardgrange for a short time where he obtained a letter sent to a previous resident and used her details to apply for credit and store cards. The woman’s credit rating suffered as a result.
Defending, Nicola Coulter said her client, who is a carer, was unaware of the potential effects his behaviour and said the cards were used to spend over £300 in total and were not used for anything ‘extravagant’ or ‘lavish’.
Ms Coulter said Monteith had fallen on hard times and acted in an appalling manner. He lost his job as a carer because of this conviction.
Imposing penalty, Deputy District Judge John Connolly said it was fraud without the injured party’s knowledge and required a great deal of planning.