Temporary cleaner stole and used bank card in ‘breach of trust’ case

Ballymena Courthouse

A temporary cleaner who was the ‘only other person’ to have access to an area at premises from which a bank card had been stolen and used in a number of ‘contactless’ transactions has pleaded guilty to theft and fraud by false representation.

Stephanie Mitchell (32), now unemployed, of Phoenix Fields, appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court which heard that she contacted the card owner and said she had done “something really really bad” and was “truly sorry” whilst pledging to “pay every penny back”.

Defence solicitor Stewart Ballentine said Mitchell had made admissions before the police were involved as she “couldn’t live with herself”.

He said the defendant was deeply remorseful.

Mr Ballentine said it appeared the defendant was in financial difficulties and when she couldn’t pay debts she “succumbed to temptation”.

District Judge Peter King said it was a difficult case as the defendant had previously been in court for a theft matter and the current case involved a “breach of trust” when she was working in premises and decided to take advantage of the access.

The case was adjourned for a pre-sentence report to be prepared.

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