Fraudster who 'hijacked' neighbour's details is jailed

ipswich crown court

Fraudster David Barnard was jailed at Ipswich Crown Court but due to time served on curfew, was not sent to prison - Credit: Charlotte Bond

A fraudster who "hijacked" a neighbour's personal details and opened accounts in his name has been jailed for 29 months. 

David Barnard, 51, was not sent to prison at Ipswich Crown Court on Friday however - given he had already spent 995 days on qualifying curfew. 

The court heard how Barnard, of Lees Court, Glemsford, successfully opened various accounts with companies such as Littlewoods and O2 and obtained credit cards all in his neighbour's name. 

He was able to make purchases worth £9,207 and also booked a hotel room in Colchester under his neighbour's name, Ed Renvoize, prosecuting, told the court. 

Barnard was aware his neighbour was on holiday at the time of the offending between August and October 2016.

He was unsuccessful in making a further £783 of purchases, the court heard. 

Mr Renvoize said Barnard appeared to intercepting his neighbour's post and when the man returned from holiday, he noticed a "surprising lack of mail". 

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The neighbour then began to receive various letters about credit cards and accounts and was forced to make numerous phone calls. 

Through the neighbour's own investigations, he was able to establish that Barnard was the man responsible, the court heard. 

The offending caused "substantial inconvenience" to the neighbour and has had "severe implications" on his credit rating, Mr Renvoize said. 

Barnard pleaded guilty to 16 counts of fraud by false representation on the day his trial was due to begin, the court heard. 

The court heard that Barnard has a number of previous convictions for offences such as fraud, handling stolen goods and making off without payment. 

Barnard also faced sentence on separate charges of fraud by false representation and obstructing a police officer. 

Those charges followed an incident when Barnard spoke to a couple at The Crown hotel in Long Melford where he was staying at the time. 

He claimed to be an ex-professional footballer for Southend United and was somehow able to obtain their card details. 

He then used those details to make purchases, the court heard. 

Barnard pleaded not guilty to those two offences but was found guilty in his absence when he failed to attend his court hearing. 

Lynne Shirley, mitigating, said her client will be able to repay the money once a house sale has gone through. 

Recorder Graham Huston jailed Barnard for a total of 29 months but due to time already served on qualifying curfew, he was not required to go to prison.