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Monday, 15 June 2015

UK IMMIGRATION OFFICER STOLE SUSPECT'S CREDIT CARD!!


An immigration officer involved in a raid on a suspect’s house stole his credit card and went on a spending spree.

Lee Sutton brought shame to his Government dept but claimed he was desperate for money to buy presents for his daughters’ birthdays.

The crooked official, 39, dodged prison after a judge heard he was under mounting financial pressure at the time.

But he was told he would never again hold such a position of authority.

Sutton, from York, withdrew hundreds of pounds in separate transactions at cash points before using the card to set up fake accounts.

Teesside Crown Court heard that he used the man’s details to create an email address, and accounts with eBay and PayPal.

He spent a further £225 after fraudulently buying gift cards online, prosecutor Liam O’Brien told Judge Tony Briggs.

The judge told him: “You have brought disgrace upon yourself and no doubt considerable embarrassment to the service.”

James Bourne-Arton, mitigating, told the court: “He has lost his job, and, in all respects, his dignity.”

The court heard how he had worked for the UK Border Agency for four years before the crimes in September and October 2013.

He was part of a search team which raided a house in Bradford, and he seized a brown leather wallet, Mr O’Brien said.

Sutton logged what he had confiscated, but did not mention the Barclaycard or a piece of paper containing the PIN number.

As well as the money he got away with, Sutton also tried and failed to withdraw more cash and buy further gift cards.

Investigators had to trawl through a year’s worth of his computer and mobile phone use to pin the crimes on him.

At one point, he contacted an on-line company to demand they delete his information, and then claimed HE had been the victim of identity fraud.

His victim said in a statement: “I am fearful because I am taking action against people who may harm me if they are responsible for my case.”

Mr Bourne-Arton told the court: “I appreciate this case isn’t really about the amount taken, but one can imagine with a degree of planning there is the potential for larger amounts to be made by a person in that position.

“At the time, he was conscious his daughters’ birthdays were approaching as well as Christmas. That’s what led to him going down this terrible road of dishonesty.

“This will significantly restrict his ability to obtain positions of such responsibility in any line of work."

Judge Briggs told Sutton: “For reasons that are somewhat obscure, you unhappily succumbed to temptation.

“The likely situation at the time, I’m quite satisfied, is you were under some considerable mental pressure and also financial pressure.

“No doubt, when you saw the opportunity you decided to take it. A moment’s thought would have made you realise that using that card was likely to lead to your discovery without any difficulty at all.”

Sutton, who changed his name to Craig Coxon after his arrest, admitted misconduct in a public office, theft of £300 from the cash points, plus the £225 stolen via the on-line accounts, and fraud.

He was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 250 hours of unpaid community work.

DailyMirror

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