Grantham court: Woman ‘found fake bank cards in alley’ claim

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A woman from Kent has admitted to using one of three fake bank cards she said she had found in an alleyway to buy a mobile phone from a Grantham store.

Sarah Jane Baker, aged 28, of Darnley Road, Gravesend, appeared before Grantham magistrates and pleaded guilty to committing fraud through false representation by purchasing a mobile from Grantham’s Carphone Warehouse shop.

Baker also entered guilty pleas to three counts of possessing fake debit and credit cards, each under a different name and none under her own.

At about 1pm on April 9, Baker entered the High Street branch of Carphone Warehouse and after pretending that she was called Nicola Bentman, bought an HTC phone using a bank card with this name.

The PIN number she entered was accepted, and Baker also received £100 cashback which she used to buy various accessories in the store.

However police were alerted to the fraudulent transaction, and after catching Baker in Morrisons, they found another fake card in a different name on her person.

Officers subsequently searched Baker’s vehicle and found a third card, as well as a range of phone accessories, and on her mobile were text messages with names, dates of birth and PIN numbers.

Baker then told police that two days before she had needed to get away due to suffering from depression, and had ended up in Nottingham.

She said after drinking at a pub, she found a handbag in an alleyway which contained the cards and a little book with all the details.

Chris Pye-Smith, defending, questioned why it had taken so long for the case to come to court, and reiterated that because of depression Baker had started driving and ended up in Nottingham by chance on April 7.

Mr Pye-Smith said that the cards hadn’t been used for any other transactions, and that all of the goods bought on April 9 had been recovered.

Baker has no previous convictions, and has not committed any further offences since, with Mr Pye-Smith adding that she was now ‘much happier’ being back in work and living with a partner.

A pre-sentence report will now be prepared on Baker, with her granted unconditional bail until her scheduled sentencing at Grantham magistrates on February 2.