A former soldier stole his friend’s bank card to fraudulently take out a mobile phone contract, a court has heard.
Terrence Heaton, 25, of Brackenbury Road, Preston, admitted a count of fraud by false representation when he appeared before Preston Magistrates’ Court.
Prosecuting, Phillippa Jones said on August 29 he stole a bank card from victim Stephen Bamford and used it to take out a contract at Phones 4 U in the St George’s Centre.
A day later he sold the phone to make a £155 gain for himself at Cash in a Dash on Church Street.
Defending, Paolo Passerini said: “The background to this is one of poverty and financial hardship.
“Around the time of the offence the defendant says he was the victim of a theft himself in that he had all his benefits stolen.
“He served in the armed forces for four years but suffered an injury to his shoulder in training and was medically discharged.
“He has struggled to find work.”
The bench said the offence was aggravated by the breach of trust to his friend but gave him a 12-month conditional discharge.
He must pay £155 compensation and a £15 surcharge.