Defendant befriended woman online

A man who befriended a woman online, stayed at her home and then used her details to apply for a credit card, has been jailed for seven months.

Friday, 17th March 2017, 9:33 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:21 am

Christopher McKenna, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation between March and May, last year.

The 51-year-old also admitted theft of a historic key from a bed & breakfast in the city and making off without paying for his room.

These offences were committed in April 2015.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard McKenna stayed at the injured party’s home for around a month after he befriended her online.

He used her details to apply for a credit card, incurring a debt of £1,200.

McKenna was arrested and during police interview claimed he had ‘skipped bail’, was on the run and intended to use the credit card to get cash.

The court also heard McKenna had booked into a city centre bed & breakfast for five nights.

He stayed in the room for two nights but did not pay and left with the key to the property.

It was revealed the defendant was sentenced last week for ‘grave’ fraud offences and was ordered to complete 100 hours community service and a Probation Order.

Defence counsel, Conan Rea, said his client got into financial difficulties a number of years ago and had a gambling problem.

However, he said prior to this McKenna had ‘led a blameless existence.’

Jailing McKenna, Deputy District Judge Laura Ievers ordered him to pay £80 compensation to the owner of the bed and breakfast.