Defrauded sick friend of up to £1,000

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A 22-years-old Kilfennan woman who stole up to £1,000 from a sick friend received a four month jail sentence at Derry Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

Rebecca Johnston (22), of Rossdale, was convicted of several charges of fraud by false representation.

The court heard the defendant had used the injured party’s credit card fraudulently over a period of two days in December 2014.

A Public Prosecution Service (PPS) solicitor said the victim, who had been hospitalised through illness at the time of the offences, became aware of the offending when she received a letter from her credit car company, advising her that her account had been charged approximately £1,000. CCTV footage tracked Johnston using the injured party’s card in Tesco, although when interviewed by police she said she couldn’t remember having used it. The court heard how Johnston had been trusted by the victim and had been allowed access to her home and personal belongings in order to run errands when the injured party was in hospital.

Defence counsel for Johnston estimated the cost of the fraud was around £814 but said the breach of trust was the worst aspect of the case.

District Judge Barney McElholm said Johnston was guilty of a “gross breach of trust,” that she had been trusted to bring the injured party’s personal effects to hospital and had rewarded her by stealing from her.

She was jailed for four months but will appeal the sentence in May.