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Man used bank cards to feed online habit

| Written by Shetland News

A MAN from Lerwick who used other people's bank card details to fraudulently obtain over £1,000 to fund an online gaming habit has been sent to jail for one year.

Ian Mutch, of Leog, pled guilty at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday to a second charge of fraud having previously admitted a similar offence.

On 15 July at an address in Lerwick and elsewhere, the 24 year old presented online to Google UK a debit card in the name of someone else and pretended to be the card owner to obtain services, namely access to computer games, to the value of £694.76 by fraud.

On 17 and 28 October, Mutch obtained the bank card details of a man and used them as a means of payment for goods and services from various online suppliers to the value of £522.78.

He admitted using the card when he did not have the authority to do so.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said both offences were nearly identical in nature and showed a "fairly systematic course of behaviour".

Defence agent Tommy Allan said his client had a history of "taking advantage" of friends and relatives, including his grandfather.

He said it was unclear "how much empathy he is capable of feeling and demonstrating".

When the possibility of being given curfew as a sentence was raised, Allan said Mutch was mostly concerned about "missing his darts" - something which Sheriff Philip Mann said was the least of his worries.

The solicitor said the 24 year old was addicted to a game called Gangster Paradise, which was the source of his need for money.

Allan said his client had some "difficulties" which meant he needed extra support than usual to lead a normal life.

Mutch was not badly off, the solicitor said, and was in receipt of disability and employment benefits worth over £1,000 a month and could have paid back the debt.

While his client previously enjoyed being in jail because he felt it was "sociable", he did not want to return there, Allan said.

Sheriff Mann, however, said the offences were "despicable" and taking advantage of vulnerable people was "not on".

He said Mutch had racked up "quite a significant record of previous convictions" and decided to place him in jail.

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