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Probation for man who facilitated ‘contactless shopping spree’ on someone else’s card

Police found transactions had been made at a number of businesses in the Craigavon and Dungannon area using the injured party's bank cards

Craigavon-Courthouse

A man who facilitated what his legal representative described as a “contactless shopping spree” on stolen bank cards has been ordered to complete 18 months probation.

Sentencing the 48-year-old, the district judge commented: “This was a very serious offence. By the description of your compatriot he would not have been able to visit as many places were it not for your help.”

Gerard Michael Martin, of Sheridan Street in Belfast, appeared for sentencing on 17 counts of fraud by false representation at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

It was outlined by the prosecution that these charges dated back to November 16, of 2018, when police received a report of a stolen purse.

The injured party stated that on the day prior two males had attended her home in order to purchase a TV which she had advertised on Gumtree.

Later that evening, she received a call from her bank informing her of suspicious activity.

By this point, the injured party could no longer locate her purse and the two aforementioned males had been the only people to attend her home that day.

Police found that transactions had been made at a number of businesses in the Craigavon and Dungannon area using the injured party’s bank cards.

CCTV from the forecourt of a garage revealed a car connected to these transactions which was registered to this defendant.

He was subsequently arrested and provided a no comment interview to police.

Prosecution highlighted that Martin was not accused of the theft and had not physically used the card but had assisted the second male by driving and carrying bags.

Defence counsel stated that pleas had been entered based on this defendant “facilitating” what he described as a “contactless shopping spree”.

He added that despite Martin’s “lesser part” in the offending, he accepted that the loss would need to be made good.

District Judge Bernie Kelly stated: “This was a very serious offence. By the description of your compatriot he would not have been able to visit as many places were it not for your help.”

Martin was sentenced to 18 months probation and was ordered to pay compensation of £252.90.

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