A ‘PERSISTENTLY dishonest individual’ used a cheque from a closed account to pay for power tools and a car which ended up being bought by an innocent motorist.
And after spending money on the vehicle to get it through an MoT, the unlucky buyer saw it seized from him by the police and returned to the original owner, a judge has heard.
Dwayne Arnold, 33, who is originally from Rugby but now of Spring Road, Coventry, pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to one charge of theft and two of fraud.
He was sentenced to 20 weeks in prison suspended for two years, and was ordered to do 250 hours of unpaid work and to take part in a Thinking Skills programme.
Recorder Kevin Hegarty QC, who said references speak highly of Arnold’s determination to reform, also ordered him to pay a total of more than £2,900 in compensation and £1,200 costs.
Prosecutor William Dudley told the court how Arnold carried out a number of fraudulent transactions from April last year, involving a hire-purchase TV from Buy As You View, and £478 worth of power tools from Sky Blue Fixings in Coventry.
In June, Arnold used a cheque for £3,000 to buy a second-hand car – only for it to be returned to the seller by his bank marked ‘suspected fraudulent counterfeit’.
By then, Arnold had sold the car to a dealership, which did not discover anything untoward and sold it on to an innocent motorist.
The car was seized from the new owner when the fraudulent cheque came to light.
Mr Dudley added that Arnold had previous convictions for offences including theft and fraud, including paying for vehicles with fraudulent cheques.
When he was arrested Arnold denied acting dishonestly, claiming he had simply picked up the wrong cheque book by mistake – but Mr Dudley pointed out he did not have another Barclays account.
Simon Hunka, defending, said there was ‘a clumsiness’ to the offences because Arnold had given the car seller an address which he could be linked to.
He said Arnold had made ‘a concerted effort’ since his arrest, having got on top of his drug habit and started an apprenticeship, and he could pay compensation because of a payment he received for an injury he suffered when he was last in custody.
Mr Hunka explained that Arnold has epileptic fits, as a result of which a cannula was inserted in his wrist – and he suffered an injury when he was handcuffed to be taken to hospital.
Sentencing Arnold, Recorder Kevin Hegarty QC told him: “You are a persistently dishonest individual. But the references speak highly of you and your determination to reform.”
He ordered Arnold to pay £478 compensation to Mr Gidda and £2,427 to the unfortunate purchaser of the car.