27-year-old jailed after splashing out on food with bank card he found at town pub

A 27-year-old has been handed 14 weeks in jail after splashing out on food and tobacco when he found an unattended bank card in a pub.

Jack Addison, of London Road in Lynn, was sent to custody when he appeared at the town’s magistrates’ court on Thursday.

He had pleaded guilty to one count of fraud by false representation, which meant he had breached a suspended sentence he was handed by Norwich magistrates on September 7.

Jack Addison found the unattended bank card at the Lord Napier pub. Picture: Google Maps
Jack Addison found the unattended bank card at the Lord Napier pub. Picture: Google Maps

His latest offence was committed in the early hours of September 11 – just four days after that order was made.

While in court, he was also dealt with for failing to comply with the requirements of the order.

On Addison’s actions, lead magistrate Terrance Geater said: “We believe that they are so serious that only a custodial sentence can be justified.

“The new offence has been committed within a very short time of the imposition of the suspended sentence.”

Addison was sentenced to two weeks in jail for fraud, while his suspended sentence of 12 weeks was activated and will be served consecutively.

Crown prosecutor Lesla Small had earlier told the court that the victim in the case had been at Lynn’s Lord Napier pub on the night in question, last using their bank card at around 7pm.

It was not until the following morning they realised it was missing, and they subsequently reported the matter at 7.45am. They cancelled the card over the phone, before making a trip to HSBC in the Vancouver Quarter to check the transactions made.

Addison had found the card at around 5.30am. Proof was obtained, with the help of CCTV footage, that he had used it at the nearby Whites Newsagents on London Road. Products worth around £30 were purchased.

Ms Small said that Addison denied using the card elsewhere – but in mitigation, Andrew Cogan said this was not the case.

“He did admit to two or three uses of the card,” the solicitor said.

“He said: ‘I was hungry, I bought some food’.”

Mr Cogan said that after being shown CCTV footage of himself using the card for a third time, Addison had responded: “I already admitted it – you are just dragging this out.”

“He has not helped his case one jot, I am afraid,” Mr Cogan said.

However, the solicitor did argue that there were two reasons why magistrates should opt against sending Addison to prison.

He said: “Since the suspended sentence, despite the finding of this card – to give him the feeling of, ‘I have just won the lottery, I can go and buy some food and tobacco’ – he has not done anything else.

“Given his record of previous offending, that period of two weeks he has remained free of any offending. This is the beginning of the start of an inkling that Mr Addison is about to change his ways.”

Mr Cogan also suggested that the current overcrowding in UK prisons could also mean an alternative punishment should have been sought.

“I would submit that it would not be in the interest of justice to activate the sentence,” he said.

“There could be light at the end of the tunnel for him.”

However, magistrates felt differently and did send Addison to jail. He will also pay a £154 victim surcharge upon release.