Curfew for serial conwoman who went on spree with stolen bank card

A serial conwoman has been given a curfew after going on a spending spree with a stolen bank card
A serial conwoman has been given a curfew after going on a spending spree with a stolen bank card

A serial con-woman named Swindells went on a spree with a bank card stolen in a house raid, a court heard.

Nicola Swindells had the Halifax card an hour after the attack on the victim's home in Burnley, after two burglars made off in the victim's car with her handbag.

Swindells, who owed a drugs debt, was caught on CCTV buying goods at a service station the same day and claimed she wanted to get caught as she had been made to do it and wanted to tell the police.

She was recognised and arrested when the footage was downloaded, the town's magistrates were told.

Swindells, who has a record for dishonesty, has now been given a four week curfew, which she must obey seven days a week.

The 40-year-old, of Prestwich Street, Burnley, admitted handling stolen goods, four charges of fraud by false representation, to the tune of more than £65, on Tuesday, June 27th and Wednesday, June 28th and asked for four offences of fraud on June 28th to be considered.

The defendant, who is on employment and support allowance, must stay indoors between 7pm and 7am.

Mr John Rusius, defending Swindells, told the hearing she had had a drugs habit, had managed to rid herself of it, but had had problems, was on medication for depression and got in with the wrong crowd.

She started using illicit substances again and ran up a drugs debt she couldn't afford to pay.

Swindells had been threatened, her house was burgled and her windows had been broken.

The defendant was approached by " a certain person " who gave her the card and told her he wanted her to use it to go and buy groceries.

The solicitor continued: "She was told "If you don't, you know what's going to happen.'

"She felt she had no alternative in the circumstances but to go and use the card. She thought the card belonged to a girlfriend of his.

"Clearly that wasn't the case."

Mr Rusius went on: "She was aware she was going to be on CCTV.

"She didn't try to hide her face and had on distinctive clothing. She was always going to be identified.

"That was good for her because she was going to be spoken to by the police and she could tell them all about it."

The solicitor added: "She is now clean again. All she can do is apologise."