Fraudster who went on the run for almost two years arrested on European warrant
PUBLISHED: 14:12 15 June 2018 | UPDATED: 15:31 15 June 2018
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A fraudster who used stolen bank cards to try to obtain hundreds of pounds worth of goods went on the run for almost two years before he was finally tracked down living in Lithuania, a court heard.
Andrius Meskauskas, 24, formerly of Lowestoft, failed to turn up for his trial in Norwich in May 2016 and went on the run before he was arrested in Lithuania on a European arrest warrant and brought back to the UK in January this year, Norwich Crown Court heard.
William Carter, prosecuting, said that the fraud offences involved the use of stolen bank and credit card details which had been taken in burglaries in the Great Yarmouth, Gorleston and Lowestoft areas, back in 2014.
Mr Carter said that in one case, Meskauskas attempted to use a card belonging to an elderly woman, which had been stolen from her home in Gresham Close, Gorleston, to buy £1,200 of goods from a number of shops including Argos and JD Sports - but fortunately the card was blocked.
He said another stolen card taken in a burglary, in Lowestoft, was used to transfer £170 to an online betting account and also to carry out three transactions worth £124.
He said a co-accused of Meskauskas had been dealt with for burglary but he had been bailed in November 2015 to attend his trial in Norwich in May 2016.
Mr Carter said that Meskauskas failed to turn up and went on the run and said it was not until January 13 this year that he was brought back to the UK, having been arrested in Lithuania.
Meskauskas, of no fixed address, admitted three counts of fraud in 2014 and also a bail act offence after failing to turn up for his trial.
Jailing him for nine months, Judge Anthony Bate said the offences had “all happened a long time ago” as a result of him going on the run.
John Morgans, for Meskauskas, said that he had spent six months in custody since his arrest and had put his time to good use, improving his English so that now he did not need any interpreter in court.
“He did not come to this country to commit offences,” Mr Morgans said. “He came to this country to work and be a positive member of society.”
He said he was not the “main man” in the offending back in 2014 and wanted to be law-abiding.