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Alcoholic jailed for buying booze with stolen bank cards found in a bin

PUBLISHED: 15:17 16 January 2019

Morrisons supermarket in Cromer, where Steven Hill  bought tobacco, eight cans of beer and a bottle of rum with two of the credit cards. Picture: ARCHANT

Morrisons supermarket in Cromer, where Steven Hill bought tobacco, eight cans of beer and a bottle of rum with two of the credit cards. Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

A self-described alcoholic has been jailed after he admitted using stolen credit cards he found in a bin to buy booze.

Steven Hill, 40, of Alfred Road, Cromer, appeared in Norwich Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, where he pleaded guilty to fraud offences committed earlier this week.

The court heard Hill was rummaging through bins in Cromer in the early hours of Monday, January 14, when he found a handbag containing three bank cards, a charger and headphones.

CCTV footage showed he walked into a Morrisons supermarket at around 6am and bought tobacco, eight cans of beer and a bottle of rum with two of the credit cards.

Prosecutor Jane Walker said the owner of the handbag realised her bag was missing on January 14 and checked online to find the transactions were made on her card at 6.12am.

During police interview, Hill said he left the handbag in the bin and dumped the bank cards at another location. Police also found the headset from the handbag at Hill’s house during a search.

Hill pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud by false representation, dishonestly handling stolen goods and theft.

Ms Walker said these offences took place whilst Hill was subject to a six-week suspended sentence order, suspended for 12 months, which he received on December 17 by the magistrates’ court for ABH and three shoplifting charges.

Hill, who has 32 convictions for 65 offences, also received a community order for another shoplifting matter in October.

Richard Mann, mitigating, said Hill described himself as an alcoholic and when he found the handbag he initially went home.

But six hours later, Mr Mann said, Hill “had the craving for alcohol that was so bad he went out to use the cards”.

He said Hill also suffered from PTSD, anxiety and depression and had been bullied in prison before.

But chairman of the bench Jeanne Heal activated the suspended sentence and added a further two weeks in custody for the two fraud charges.

Hill was sentenced to eight weeks in prison but received no separate penalty for the other offences, and the community order he received previously was revoked.

He was ordered to pay £46.20 compensation to Morrisons but was told he did not need to pay a victim surcharge or court costs due to his limited means.

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