Stole woman’s identity to apply for credit cards


A man who admitted identity theft has been ordered to complete a community service order.

John Monteith, whose address was given on court papers as Quarry Street, pleaded guilty to five charges of fraud by false representation.

The offences were committed between February and June 2013.

The city’s magistrates court was told the 52-year-old was staying at an address in Ardgrange for a short time and he obtained a letter sent to a previous resident.

He used her details to apply for credit cards and store cards and the injured party’s credit rating suffered as a result.

Defence counsel Nicola Coulter told the court her client, who is a carer, was unaware of the potential effects his behaviour could have on the injured party.

She added the cards were only used to spend over £300 in total and were not used for anything ‘extravagant’ or ‘lavish’.

Ms Coulter said the 52-year-old had fallen on hard times, acted in an ‘appalling manner’ and committed offences which were ‘effectively identity theft’.

The barrister told the court Monteith has lost his job as a carer because of this conviction.

Deputy District Judge John Connolly said ‘these offences are of great concern to members of the public. It is a fraud committed without their knowledge and a great deal of planning goes into it’.

However, he said he had to take into account the guilty plea, which had saved a lot of court time and resources.

The judge ordered Monteith to complete 150 hours community service and to pay £150 compensation.