Pair steals from mugging victim

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A PAIR of heroin users from Daventry embarked on a spending spree using a pensioner’s debit card.

On Monday, Wendy Grieve, 27, and Matthew Knight, 36, both of Sherwood Drive, appeared at Banbury Magistrates’ Court in connection with a series of fraudulent transactions totalling more than £3,200 which took place at stores around Banbury on May 13 this year.

Grieve admitted seven charges of fraud by false representation while Knight pleaded guilty to nine charges of fraud by false representation and one of theft from the person of another.

Prosecutor Shahreena Coker told the court the 67-year-old victim from Banbury had been walking home from the Horse and Jockey pub in West Bar at about 10.30pm on May 12 when he was “approached from behind by two males who took him to the ground, searched for his wallet which they took from him” and left him laying in the road.

The victim was then found by Knight, who had come to Banbury to buy heroin, and after offering assistance, he stumbled across the pensioner’s wallet further down the same road which contained the debit card and pin number.

Satyanam Singh, defending, said: “What must be stressed is neither were involved in the initial assault on the victim.

“It was an opportunist theft thereafter by Mr Knight.”

The following day Knight and Grieve used the stolen debit card in places such as Beaverbrook, Ernest Jones Jewellers, Poundstretcher, Argos and Brantano. Both were arrested shortly after and made full admissions during interviews. The victim has since had his money returned to him by Lloyds TSB, but Ms Coker did warn the bank was seeking compensation.

The case was adjourned until Friday, August 17 when the pair will return to Banbury Magistrates’ Court for sentencing.

Chairman of the bench, Carole Gibbs, warned: “We are not ruling out custody.”

Grieve and Knight were released on bail with the condition not to enter Oxfordshire except for court and solicitor appointments.