New Meetings Can Provide the Impetus for Fraudulent Activity

When a relationship breaks down, it is understandable that people involved in the break-up will be hurt by the change in their circumstances. Every relationship is unique and everyone involved in it will have their own thoughts and opinions on the matter. Different people react in different ways and there will be many people who set out to hurt their former partner on various ways. Sometimes this can involve theft or fraud, and this is a common type of incident that will go through the courts.

However, there are also crimes that can arise from one-off situations and this can sometimes be more difficult to explain or even report. Depending on people’s circumstances, they may actually find it is more beneficial to keep quiet about a crime or theft rather than having the full story exposed. It will not be a shock or surprise to hear that many people in a relationship who play around and end up getting stung will decide to keep quiet about the incident, in the hope of keeping their infidelity to themselves.

This can cause further problems in the long but it is fair to say that people are not always thinking straight when they meet someone new that they like, or think that they like. Then again, there are some people that meet someone new and it turns out that their thoughts are purely about what they can obtain for themselves, as opposed to the new relationship they can build.

PayPal provides an opportunity to commit online fraud

Natalie Collins met a man in a pub in Norwich and after informing the man that she was based in the army in Colchester but was visiting the Norwich area on leave, quickly struck up a relationship with the man. This led to Collins staying with the man on a number of occasions and on the occasions she was staying over, the victim took a shower.

This was all the time that Collins needed to take a bank card and set up a PayPal account. Doing so allowed her to buy items online and in a short period of time, she had carried out 117 fraudulent transactions that totalled £2,654.46. Many people will say that this was quite a cold and callous act, perhaps even a very calculating act and one that deserved to be punished in a sever manner.

At Norwich Crown Court, Collins appeared and admitted the fraud charge while also admitting another offence of failing to surrender to custody. Collins was sentenced to 8 months in prison and Recorder Gus Ayers said; “You’ve been dishonest for a large number of years and its calculated dishonesty, its thoughtful dishonesty not something done on the spur of the moment but something done with thought and planning and then carried out and that’s exactly what’s happened in this case.”

Previous cases will be considered in court

The prosecution pointed out that the fraud took place between September the 14th 2014 and October the 10th 2014 and it took place after a relationship was started on a false premise. It turned out that Collins had a total of 9 convictions for 36 previous offences, and in court she said that it was time to make a change in her life.

When someone has so many convictions in their past for similar offences, it is clear that there is a pattern of behaviour going on. It may be that the person has suffered difficulties in the past and that their behaviour is a way of acting out. These can provide mitigating circumstances for a defence team to work with but equally, when there is such a pattern of repeat behaviour, it becomes very difficult for a court to overlook the crimes that are being committed.

The fact that the defendant stayed over with the victim on a number of occasions perhaps indicates that there was some emotion involved, or it could be argued that the opportunity to undertake a worthwhile crime never presented itself straight away.

The opening line used by Collins on introducing herself to the victim was clearly one aimed at setting up a convenient excuse as to why a full-on relationship couldn’t be started or entered into.

Whether this was a help or a hindrance to the defence solicitors in creating a case for their client is unclear but it does remind people that fraud can happen at any point in life.

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