Woman used ‘found’ card to shop online

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In Court

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A woman who used someone else’s bank card to buy phone credit and gambling credit online has appeared in court.

Victoria Gemma Lewin, 27, of Ropery Road in Gainsborough admitted the charge of fraud by false representation at Worksop Magistrates’ Court last week.

The court heard that Lewin found the card, belonging to Andrew Bromley, in the centre console of a car she had just bought from him.

“He sold the car to Miss Lewin last October but had not cleared it out properly and accidentally left his bank card in the console,” said Ruth Snowdin, prosecuting.

“When he realised he contacted the defendant and she said she would return it to him the next day, which she did. “He didn’t report it as lost for this reason.”

But within hours of finding the card, Lewin was using it to buy phone top-ups, gifts and online gambling credit on the Internet, racking up a total spend of £107 The court heard that the transactions took place from an address in Carlton, near Worksop, on 31st October last year.

But the court heard that alarm bells rang when the card was back with Mr Bromley and his wife tried to use it, only for her purchase to be declined.

On further investigation they found a number of transactions they did not recognise and reported it to the police.

The fraudulent transactions included £11 Vodafone mobile phone credit, £18 on gifts from gettingpersonal.co.uk, and a total of £70 gambling credit fromjackpotjoy.com When arrested and interviewed by police Lewin admitted she had used the card details before returning it to Mr Bromley. She has now paid the money back to him. Mrs Snowdin also told magistrates that Lewin had committed the offences while serving a suspended sentence for another, similar matter. In October 2011, Nottingham Crown Court sentenced Lewin to 36 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, during which she committed these further offences.

Defending, Ian Pridham told the court Lewin had seen the car for sale on Facebook. “The transaction went through very quickly and the card ended up in her possession. The only person who could have used it was her,” said Mr Pridham. “The offences were bound to be discovered. It’s absolutely crazy behaviour and she can’t understand why she did it.”

The case to Nottingham Crown Court for sentencing at a later date. Lewin was given unconditional bail.