Online shopping fraudster caught after using own address for deliveries

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A WOMAN who went on an online spending spree by pretending to be other people was caught after using her own address for deliveries.

Leanne Brough, of Tatham Street, Hendon, scoured the internet for names and addresses to fill out the web purchases.

Peterlee Magistrates’ Court heard the 33-year-old put her then-home details down for delivery, as well as her own email address, leading police to her door.

Heather Wilkinson, prosecuting, explained how all four orders were placed on August 11 using a computer in a library.

Two were made with Shop Direct for £387-worth of shopping with its Kays catalogue and £783 with its Very brand.

Another £109 was placed with Fashion World and a further £80 with Brilliant Gifts, which are both owned by JD Williams.

Only the two purchases made with JD Williams are believed to have been delivered and included clothing and two watches.

All four charges of theft by false representation were admitted by Brough, who had been living at her father’s house in Durham at the time.

Miss Wilkinson said: “Inquiries have been quite simple because the address has led back to Leanne Brough and her email address also linked back to her by her very name.

“She was interviewed and made admissions and stated that she had heard from a friend how to set this up.

“Two orders of the goods have been delivered.”

She added that the companies involved were insured against such losses, but the offences would cause others to be out of pocket at some stage.

Peter Thubron, mitigating, said Brough’s marriage had broken down in May 2010, leaving her depressed.

The case was adjourned until July 3 for reports as the bench said they wanted more details about Brough from her probation officer in Sunderland.

Its office is already supervising her as part an 18-month conditional discharge for a public order offence.

She was given unconditional bail until her return on her next appearance.

Twitter: @EchoEastDurham