AN Aberystwyth law student stole a flatmate’s bank card and used it at a string of cash machines and shops in an effort to net himself over £2,000 in cash and goods.
The Cambrian News reported “Michael Oluwafunmilade, 20, ended up getting around £400 by using Charlotte Chesney’s bank card in March last year, but magistrates heard that a number of other transactions had been blocked or stopped.
He pleaded guilty to theft of Ms Chesney’s card and of six charges of fraud by false representation by using the card at cash points around Aberystwyth.
Rhian Jones, prosecuting, said Ms Chesney was contacted by her bank who questioned if she had made a series of transactions.
While Ms Chesney said she wasn’t responsible for the transactions, the bank said the PIN for the card had been used.
Ms Chesney checked her purse and found her card was missing and said that Oluwafunmilade, of Room 5, Flat 16, Alexandra Hall, knew the PIN as she had given it to him so he could get her something from a shop previously.
Ms Jones said several of the transactions Oluwafunmilade had tried to make had been stopped or blocked by the bank, but said the bank had reimbursed Ms Chesney with £250, but she was still out of pocket by £150.
A search of Oluwafunmilade’s room showed letters that showed he was in debt and CCTV footage taken at Barclays Bank showed him using the cash point, however he initially denied using Ms Chesney’s card.
Ms Jones said Ms Chesney had asked magistrates to make a restraining order on Oluwafunmilade as he had been visiting other friends in the flat where she lives and it was making her uncomfortable and worried about whether her possessions were safe.
Defence solicitor Katy Hanson said at the time Oluwafunmilade, a third year law student, had been struggling to cope with being homesick and had been drinking too much and using drugs and couldn’t remember taking the card or using it.
Since the incident Oluwafunmilade had sought help for drinking and drug issues.
She said his conviction would make it very unlikely he would be able to pursue a career in the legal profession.
Oluwafunmilade was given a 12-month community order with 10 rehabilitation activity requirement days and will have to complete 100 hours of unpaid work.
He was also ordered to pay compensation to Ms Chesney of £100 and costs of £170.
Magistrates also imposed a restraining order for the rest of the academic year to keep Oluwafunmilade away from Ms Chesney’s flat” here.