A FRAUDSTER who took out a £9,000 loan in his ex-wife’s name and then gambled it away has been jailed for just one day.
Christopher Otto and his wife ended their 20-year-long relationship last year, but remained friendly.
Otto, 38, would often come to the marital home, where he no longer lived, to look after their two children.
The court heard he used his access to his wife’s documents to apply for a loan in her name, intercepting post and using her computer and passwords to withdraw the £9,000 when it arrived in May this year.
Prosecuting barrister Michael Bunch, said: “In June, Mrs Otto went to the bank to apply for a new mortgage in her own name as they were in the process of selling the home they once shared.
“She was told that a £9,000 loan from Tesco was showing on her account.”
Newcastle Crown Court heard how Otto, of North Guards, Whitburn, lifted the entire sum from his ex-wife’s account on May 9, the day it arrived in her bank account, by making an online transfer.
He used half of the money to pay back gambling debts and gambled away the rest, Mr Bunch told the court.
Speaking in Otto’s defence, Peter Scholfield said that Otto had apologised for the massive breach of trust between himself and his ex-wife, and that he realised that what he had done was wrong.
Mr Scholfield said: “It was a desperate situation as he was involved in gambling and he owed money to people.”
It was revealed that Otto committed the offence of fraud, to which he pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity, while serving a suspended sentence for possession with intent to supply cannabis.
Mr Recorder Andrew Kershaw, said: “You have a history of drug addiction and that has been replaced by gambling. You committed an offence which was bound to be found out.”
Jailing him for one day for breaching his suspended sentence, the judge also imposed a nine-month prison sentence suspended for 12 months and 150 hours of unpaid work for the offence of fraud.