Published: August 5, 2012
Highbridge man sentenced after admitting five counts of fraud

A Highbridge man who admitted five counts of fraud after illegally buying items from stores in Gloucestershire, Cardiff and Bristol has been sentenced by magistrates.

Ellis Thompson, 39, admitted five counts of fraud during a hearing last Wednesday in Stroud, Gloucestershire, where he appeared before magistrates via a video link from prison in Birmingham.

The court heard that on October 12th 2011, Thompson opened a Homebase store card at the Stroud branch using a bank statement and an electricity bill bearing a different name. He used the card to purchase goods worth £2,181.09.

Magistrates heard Thompson was arrested that day at a Tesco store in Brockworth, near Gloucester, when he tried to purchase £1,900 of electrical goods on a finance agreement. A search was conducted of his vehicle and all goods from Homebase were recovered.

That week, Thompson had also illegally purchased clothes from a store in Cardiff and goods from Harvey Nichols in Bristol, the court heard.

In his defence, the court heard that Thompson owed a drug debt of more than £2,000. Last year had been a difficult one for him financially, the bench heard. Thompson was sentenced to six weeks in jail, suspended for 12 months. He must also pay £1,050 compensation to Harvey Nichols for items not recovered and must complete 150 hours of unpaid work.

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