A man who stole his ex-girlfriend’s bank card avoided prison after a judge heard he is responding well to addiction counselling.
James Pallister used the card to withdraw cash and make purchases valued at more than £200.
The offending put Pallister in breach of a suspended sentence imposed for burglary, which Judge Simon Hickey said he would not activate due to Pallister’s recent good progress.
“The defendant had been in a relationship with the victim,” said Amrit Jandoo, prosecuting.
“He asked her for a cigarette, and she directed him to her coat pocket where her cigarettes were.
“A short time later, the victim began receiving text alerts from Santander bank informing her of transactions which she did not recognise.
“Her bank card had been in her coat pocket, but it was no longer there when she went to check. It was apparent the defendant had stolen it.”
Pallister was captured on CCTV using the card four times at Asda in Hartlepool and at a Shell garage.
Pallister, 28, also known as Donoghue, of Long Newton Street, Seaham, admitted fraud and theft on October 3.
He admitted breaching a suspended sentence order, breach of bail, and breaching a conditional discharge.
Tony Cornberg, defending, said in mitigation: “Mr Pallister has made significant progress in tackling his addiction.”
Judge Hickey extended the suspension period of Pallister’s existing suspended sentence from 18 months to 21 months, and ordered him to pay £207 compensation and a £25 fine for breach of bail.
Pallister was ordered to pay the compensation within 14 days, and to pay the fine at a minimum of £5 a week.