Man blew £3,000 using credit cards he found in street

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A FRAUDSTER went on a spending spree using credit cards he found in the street.

Matthew James, 37, of St Margarets Road, St Leonards, found a lost wallet in Bexhill containing cash and the cards, together with PIN numbers, which belonged to Noel Turner, on December 29 last year.

But rather than hand it to police, he withdrew money and bought thousands of pounds worth of goods.

His crimes were only discovered after James confessed to his father, who called the police.

At a court hearing on Monday, March 28, Mark Kateley, prosecuting, said: “The defendant withdrew £300 from a cashpoint in St Leonards Road, Bexhill and another £500 on December 31.

“He used the cards fraudulently to buy more than £2,000 worth of camera equipment from Jessops in Hastings, more than £200 worth of watches from H Samuel and almost £50 worth of Arsenal t-shirts and other goods from JD Sports.”

Magistrates also heard that James blew the money he withdrew from the cashpoints on alcohol and partying with friends.

Mr Kateley said: “Eventually on January 8 while at his father’s he plucked up the courage and told his dad what he had done.”

The court heard that James had spent almost £3,500 worth of Mr Turner’s money.

Mr Kateley said Mr Turner had sionce been reimbursed.

James was interviewed by police on February 9 and admitted finding the wallet and cards and using them for his own gain.

James, who is deaf, pleaded guilty to one charge of theft by finding and three counts of fraud by false representation when he appeared before Hastings magistrates.

Alison Pringle, defending, said: “This happened over a two-day period and it was not something that he calculated over a long period of time.”

Magistrates decided to adjourn the case until April 18 so pre-sentence reports could be prepared.