Pensioner defrauded seriously ill cousin

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A pensioner man who fraudulently used his cousin’s debit card and bank details was labelled “wicked and devious” by District Judge Desmond Perry.

William Elliott, of Ramin Park, Drumahoe, was given concurrent six month jail terms, suspended for three years. The court heard that he had been given access to his first cousin’s bank information after his cousin suffered a stroke in 2011.

With unlimited access to both his cousin’s debit card and bank details, he bought goods from Amazon, Insure and Go, Com Cubed, Specsavers, Millennium Forum, Dunelm Mill, Evans, Colin McFarland Tyres and Max Fuels, as well as withdrawing significant sums of cash.

The court heard the defendant’s cousin suffered a stroke in 2011 and was taken to hospital unconscious. He was released from hospital in February 2012 and at that time, gave some control of his debit card and bank account to the defendant, to help assist him in paying bills and making cash withdrawals.

Defence counsel said Elliott and his cousin were good friends as well as cousins.

He said: “Unfortunately temptation fell into the way of the defendant and he had since apologised for what he has done.”

Passing sentence Judge Perry told Elliott: “This is a wicked and devious dishonesty in relation to a close relative.”

Elliott was sentenced to concurrent six month jail terms on each charge, suspended for three years. He was also ordered to pay restitution of £7,000 within six months, with an option to ask for a further six month extension.

Judge Perry stressed that Elliott would have to serve his sentence if he re-offended in the next three years.

“There is an expectation that the money be forthcoming in the next 12 months,” the Judge said.