December 11 2013 Latest news:
Friday, October 4, 2013
An eight-month prison sentence has been handed to a Norwich man who previously won £50,000 on the lottery, after he committed fraud on the day of his release from a 40-month sentence.
Carl Gardner, of Peckover Road, had previously been jailed for three years and four months in April 2010 after pleading guilty to five child sexual offences, admitting to running a paedophile ring via mobile phones.
He was released early from that sentence on April 13 of this year and starting fraudulently taking out mobile phone contracts in his father’s name during April, May and June.
The contracts were all for deals with free phones and Gardner, aged 34, immediately went and sold the phones for cash at second-hand shops.
He was said to have taken out eight contracts with mobile phone providers and received free phones worth between £1,000 and £1,500.
Gardner appeared at Norwich Crown Court yesterday having previously pleading guilty to dishonestly making fraudulent representations to make gains for himself at an earlier hearing.
His previous sexual offences mean he has a sexual offences prevention order, which prevents him from buying a new phone without his probation officer’s permission.
Recorder Michael Evans said he would not include the “technical breach” of the order as there was no evidence that any of the phones were used for child sex offences, but simply sold on for profit.
Nick Methold, prosecuting, said: “There is no evidence that he used the phones to access internet pornography, rather the opposite, he seems to have sold most of the phones as soon as he has got them.”
Mr Methold said Gardner’s previous convictions include a range of similar frauds, going back to July 2000 when he first used a neighbour’s identity to purchase a TV channel subscription.
He said Gardner had purchased goods from a TV channel, Norwich City football tickets and matchday coach travel and a DVD player in similarly fraudulent ways in the past.
Michael Clare, in mitigation, pointed out that despite the frauds Gardner’s father was in court to support him.
Mr Clare said: “He won £50,000 on the Lottery in 2008 and gave £20,000 to his parents, who he lives with, and the rest has been spent away as a young man does.
“The problem is he keeps doing this, it’s almost like a disease, it’s just something he knows how to do which is easy.”
Recorder Evans said because of Gardner’s “unenviable record” that he had planned to give him 12 months in prison, which was being reduced to eight months because of his guilty plea.
He said: “This is meant to teach you a lesson. It’s doesn’t matter how minimal the frauds are now, you have to stop.”