A thief and fraudster who stole a woman’s bank card has narrowly been spared from custody

A bank cash machine.
A bank cash machine.

A thief and a fraudster stole a woman’s bank card and went on a spending spree with it after she had left the card in a cash machine.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Wednesday, February 7, how Jason Hardwick, 40, of Annesley Close, Chesterfield, helped himself to the bank card and used it five times to buy items.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Prosecuting solicitor Lynn Bickley said: “The circumstances are that on Friday, July 28, at McColl’s in Chesterfield, the victim had visited the store to buy goods and used her debit card and left the card in the machine when leaving the store.

“Due to using the card infrequently, she only noticed it was missing on August 1 and she reported it missing to the bank and she was told a large number of transactions had taken place.”

Hardwick was identified on five occasions as using the card to obtain a total value of £98.34 worth of goods, according to Mrs Bickley.

Mrs Bickley added: “The store where the card was originally taken had CCTV cameras which were checked and showed a male taking the card from the card machine in the shop and going to the till and paying for items with cash and leaving. He was identified as the defendant.”

Following his arrest, Hardwick made full admissions to the police and he described the car as a “pool card” which was used by others but he admitted the charges he faced.”

Hardwick pleaded guilty to stealing the bank card on July 28 and he admitted five counts of fraud from between July 29 and August 1.

The court heard that the bank refunded the victim but the bank has still been left out of pocket.

The owner of the bank card stated that the crime had left her upset and shaken.

Defence solicitor Kirsty Sargent said Hardwick’s last conviction dates back to 2016 in which instance he completed his time on licence and under post-sentence supervision without any issues.

Magistrates, who considered a probation report, sentenced Hardwick to 18 weeks of custody suspended for 18 months with a Drug Rehabilitation Requirement and a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.

He was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £115 victim surcharge and £98.34 in compensation.