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Sunday, 21 December 2014

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‘Conscience’ stopped Barrow thief stealing more

A “CONSCIENTIOUS” Barrow thief decided against completely emptying his victim’s bank account when he fraudulently used her bank cards.

Damien John Shaw was unable to resist temptation when he came across a woman’s purse in Oxford Street, Barrow, on October 24 last year.

After discovering a number of credit cards inside the purse, with the pin numbers next to them, the 36-year-old used the cards to withdraw a total of £540.

At Furness Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, Mrs Lisa Hine, prosecuting, said: “On October 24, Margaret Collins contacted police when she realised her purse had been stolen at some point during the day.

“Inside had been a number of debit and credit cards and pin numbers. After ringing the bank she realised they had been used around Barrow and £540 had been withdrawn. Police ascertained Mr Shaw was responsible.

“Then on December 10, Mr Shaw was seen riding a push bike in Barrow with a petrol can hanging from the handlebar and a rucksack on his back.

“Police did a stop search and found a saw worth £600 belonging to the company Neil Price.”

Shaw, of Vernon Street, Barrow, pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud concerning the use of the victim’s cards and one count of theft of the cards but pleaded not guilty to receiving stolen goods regarding the saw. He was found guilty after a trial last month.

The court heard Shaw was last in court in November for failing to comply with a community order imposed for theft offences. Mrs Jane Tunn, defending, said Shaw knew a prison sentence was inevitable following these latest crimes.

She said: “Once he chanced upon the purse he couldn’t resist temptation. Not only were the cards there but the pin numbers too.

“He said he fell into old ways and went and stole £540. He says his conscience was pricked, he didn’t completely clean out the accounts. There was a substantial amount of money left in.”

Shaw, who appeared in court via video link from Preston prison, was jailed for 16 weeks for receiving stolen goods and 12 weeks concurrently for the remaining three offences.

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