Sunderland drug user went on spending spree with card stolen from woman's car

He was caught after the fifth time he tried to use the card

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A drug user went on a spending spree with a bank card taken from a mum’s stolen car, a court heard.

Repeat offender Anthony Parkin, 38, made four purchases in a few hours but was foiled from further frauds when his victim’s bank intervened.

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Parkin, of Castle View, Castletown, Sunderland, was given the plastic by the car thief and told to buy goods which would be sold for cash from which he could purchase drugs.

He bought £47 of items from Morrisons in Durham Road, Sunderland, at 11.12pm on Monday, November 28.

Minutes later, he selected £12.65 of items from BP’s service station on the city’s Wessington Way, South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court was told.

And at 3.30am the next day, he made purchases of £86 and £64 at Asda’s store at Boldon Colliery.

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Prosecutor Lucy Todd revealed Parkin came unstuck when he attempted to commit a fifth fraud later the same morning at a Nexus Travelshop.

She said the woman’s bank became suspicious of activity and prevented the card’s further use – and police then investigated.

Ms Todd added: “The victim parked her car and locked it at 6pm on November 28 when she returned home, leaving her bank card inside.

“Later, she realised her card had been used at stores. The defendant is not here on that theft of a vehicle, he’s here for fraud on a card.

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“This offence is aggravated by the defendant’s previous convictions and being on a community order at the time.”

Parkin, who has 38 previous convictions from 76 offences, pleaded guilty to a charge of fraud by false representation.

He has convictions for the same offence from 2020, with 48 offences for theft or kindred, and was handed an 18-month community order for shoplifting in July 2022.

Gerry Armstrong, defending, said Parkin had periods in employment when he stayed crime-free and was currently working well with the Probation Service.

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He added: “It’s right to say that he’d been making some good progress, but he had lapsed back into drug use.

“Someone had said to him to use the card and he could have some money for drugs.

“When he’s not in employment he falls back in with those who misuse drugs.”

Parkin was sentenced to a 12-month community order, with up to 15 rehabilitation days and 100 hours of unpaid work. He must pay a £114 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.

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