Break-up led to fraud case

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SOUR grapes during the breakdown of a relationship led to fraud, a court heard.

Ivan Stefencik ordered a 42in LG high definition television for his boyfriend as a “surprise,” but failed to mention he had used his partner’s personal details to set up a payment account with Additions Direct.

The 35-year-old also secretly used the same information to buy a £450 iPhone, from another firm.

Peterlee Magistrates’ Court was told the men had met on a night out in March, and Stefencik moved in to his partner’s Peterlee home last month.

The innocent victim only found out that Stefencik had fraudulently used his personal details when he began to receive post regarding the accounts.

He also discovered credit had been taken out in his name without his knowledge.

The purchases let to Stefencik, being charged with two counts of fraud by false representation, committed on May 31.

He pleaded guilty to both and was sentenced to an 18-month community order with supervision.

Debra Jones, prosecuting, asked for the value of the iPhone – sold on because Stefencik was short of cash – to be paid back in compensation to his victim.

Helen Adams, mitigating, said there had been “sour grapes” between the pair because their relationship had broken down, with Stefencik due to move to Edinburgh for work.

She said they had shared their financial details, despite the relationship only being short.

Ms Adams said Stefencik would benefit from the help given to him by the probation service.

She added: “As you well know, there are some difficulties ongoing and he has expressed some emotional difficulties.”

Magistrates said they had reduced his supervision order by six months, because of his early guilty pleas.

They were told Stefencik – who is also known as Ivo Vettorri and now lives in Russell Street, Jarrow – had a previous conviction for dishonesty dating back to 2008.

@EchoEastDurham