Good character ‘lost’ in stealing bank card
Last updated at 15:09, Wednesday, 04 August 2010
A WOMAN stole her friend’s bank card after a shopping trip and used it to withdrew £900.
Jorja Nicole Hicks had been shopping in Barrow town centre with her friend Hannah Bell on April 18.
Three days later, Miss Bell discovered her bank card was missing from her bag and contacted her building society.
At Furness Magistrates’ Court yesterday, prosecutor Miss Katie Marsden described how Hicks, 19, had stolen the card and had pretended to be Miss Bell in order to withdraw £900 cash.
Miss Marsden said: “When Miss Bell discovered her card had gone missing, she told the defendant who told her not to worry and that the card would turn up.
Miss Hicks then contacted her and said she had been in Jefferson’s in Barrow and a member of the public had handed the card to her and she would return it.”
But a number of weeks later, on June 2, Hicks’ guilt had got the better of her and she confessed to her friend.
Miss Marsden said: “Miss Bell received three texts from her saying she had made an unforgivable mistake and despised herself.”
Hicks was then interviewed by police and initially denied stealing the card and £900.
She said the female captured on CCTV inside the building society was someone else because she “wouldn’t wear her hair like that”.
Miss Marsden said: “But Miss Hicks then went back to the police station and had another interview, where she admitted the offences.
“She said she had gone into the Nationwide branch on April 19 but did so without thinking.
“She signed the slip form with the signature of her friend and put the money into her own bank account.”
The court heard that Hicks, who had no previous convictions, has since repaid the £900. Mr Mike Graham, defending, said his client had recently suffered from mental health problems and was deeply sorry for her actions.
He said: “She has now lost her good character and what was a very good friend.
“She had been waiting for a referral from her GP to see a psychiatrist and had taken an overdose due to her taking antidepressants.”
Hicks, who was accompanied to court by her parents, pleaded guilty to charges of theft and fraud.
She was given a six month community order with a curfew, requiring her to remain indoors from 9pm until 6am every day for the next six weeks and was also ordered to pay £85 costs.
District judge Gerald Chalk said: “It is truly tragic, you have spoilt your good name by doing this.
“It was a breach of trust and you may have lost the friendship of a good friend.”
First published at 13:05, Wednesday, 04 August 2010
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk