Alford man spent £1,600 on stolen bank card to fund ‘gifts and drugs’

Court news
Court news

An Alford man found a bank card and used it 60 times to buy presents for his children and fund his drug habit, Boston Magistrates’ Court has been told (April 18).

Wesley James Barnett, 34, of St Wilfrid’s Close, admitted theft of the Halifax Bank card and using it in contactless transactions totalling £1,600 worth of goods.

Dan Pietryka, prosecuting, said Barnett stole the card on December 16 and used it in 60 transactions between then and December 27.

He said Barnett was interviewed by police in January and he told them he had found it on the ground in Lumley Road, and had started using it because he did not have enough money to buy Christmas presents for his children at the time.

Mitigating, Lloyd Edwards said Barnett had been out of trouble between 2004 and 2017 but he had been regularly in trouble since then because a family crisis had ‘completely devastated him’ and he had started taking a ‘large amount of drugs’.

He said a drug referral order, that had been imposed in September, had now expired but he was still working with Addaction, as he was still taking drugs but at a much reduced level.

Mr Edwards said the thefts were in part to sell the stolen goods for money to buy drugs and also to ‘shower his children with gifts’.

He added that Barnett was subject to a suspended prison sentence imposed after these offences, and had not offended since then.

Barnett, who it was said suffered from fibromyalgia and was now permanently confined to a wheelchair, was given a new six-month drug referral order and ordered to pay £1,600 in compensation to the Halifax Bank.