Addict ripped off his father for hundreds of pounds to pay off a drug debt

A desperate son set up a credit card account in his father's name to pay-off a drug debt and stole hundreds of pounds from his father.

Thursday, 18th January 2018, 3:09 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th January 2018, 3:10 pm

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Tuesday, January 16, how Richard Underwood, 41, of Hurst Rise, Matlock, set up the AA credit card account in his dad’s name but as things got further out of control he also ran up a debt on his father’s Barclays bank card.

Prosecuting solicitor Rod Chapman said a member of the family shocked Underwood’s father when they presented him with the AA credit card in his name when he had never owned one.

Mr Chapman added: “He was surprised and it was explained it was obtained by the defendant Richard Underwood using his father’s details and obviously applying for a credit card in someone else’s name is fraud.”

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The complainant also received a statement from Barclays a few days later, according to Mr Chapman, showing that a considerable debt had been run-up on his legitimate Barclays card account.

Mr Chapman added: “The explanation given by Richard Underwood to police was that he had run into trouble and was taking drugs and he had drug debts.

“And he had seen it as a possible way to pay off his drug debt by obtaining an AA credit card in his dad’s name to pay off the debt so he would not be subject to any nasty things his creditors were threatening.”

However, Richard Underwood told police matters overtook him and he entered his father’s home and took his father’s Barclays card and got the pin number and used that to get more cash to pay off the debt.

The defendant, who has previous convictions, pleaded guilty to stealing £1,453.22 via the Barclays card and also admitted fraud by applying for and using an AA credit card in another person’s name to make a gain of £367.91.

Richard Underwood told the court: “I’m full of remorse. I cannot explain how I got into this situation. I was 12 years’ clean from heroin and everything.”

He added that he had become distressed when someone he knew was terminally ill and he had even tried to take his own life.

The defendant said: “I need to get past whatever sentence you pass and I can move forward. I am full of remorse and I am sorry.”

Magistrates sentenced Underwood to a 12 month community order with 60 hours of unpaid work, a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and Drug Rehabilitation Requirement.

He was also ordered to pay £1,453.22 in compensation.