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Newry man went on Lurgan spending spree with housemate’s bank card

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A Newry man who went on a spending spree with a housemate’s bank card has been sentenced to three months in prison.

Barry John Dullagahan, 37, of Raymond Kelly Park, appeared before Craigavon Magistrates’ Court, via video-link from Magilligan, charged with three counts of fraud by false representation, one count of theft and one count of attempted fraud by false representation.

The court heard that on an unknown date between January 2 and January 16, 2019, the defendant stole the bank card from the injured party.

Dullagahan entered a guilty plea to all of the charges.

The prosecution outlined that on January 17, 2019, the injured party was contacted by Santander – her bank – to report a number of suspicious transactions on her bank account.

A total of four payments were made on January 16, which totalled to £63.14. The transactions were made to a number of different stores.

A fourth card payment was attempted but Santander had locked the account before the transaction could be completed.

Police enquiries identified that the stores were within walking distance of each other, situated along William Street and Market Street in Lurgan.

Police obtained CCTV which showed the same male making contactless card payments in the stores. Police identified the male as Dullagahan.

The defendant attended Banbridge for a pre-arranged interview, where he admitted that he was the male seen in the CCTV footage.

Santander has since reimbursed the injured party with the funds that were stolen, the court heard.

The defendant’s solicitor told the court that Dullagahan had received an eight-month sentence in June, with his release date due to be October 15.

He stated that the case before the court was “an old matter” and that the defendant was living in the same flat as the injured party.

“There was a communal area, the card came in, he accepted he used it. He has long standing issues with alcohol and he’s hoping to get all matters dealt with so that when he’s released he can effectively have a fresh start,” he said.

Deputy District Judge Greg McCourt imposed a sentence of three months imprisonment on each of the five charges, to run concurrently with each other and concurrently with his current sentence.

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