Northern Ireland

Man with 18 aliases faces theft and fraud charges

A man with 18 different aliases conned his way into a changing room locker to steal credit cards for a spending spree, the High Court has heard.

David Griffin bought jewellery and electrical goods after he took a wallet at a Belfast leisure centre, prosecutors claimed.

He is also accused of selling his partner's van without her knowledge.

During a bail application the judge was told Griffin has made full admissions and shown remorse for his actions

The 37-year-old, originally from Arbroath in Scotland but with no fixed address, faces charges of theft, fraud, obtaining property by deception and going equipped for theft.

Kate McKay, prosecuting, said he had accepted going into Andersonstown Leisure Centre last October and telling staff he couldn't get into his locker.

The storage unit was then opened, enabling him to take the wallet and cards used to buy a laptop computer, television set and gold bracelet, it was alleged.

They were then sold on to pay off a debt, the court was told.

Weeks earlier Griffin's partner had reported her Volkswagen Transporter van stolen.

It was claimed that he had taken the vehicle and sold it for £2,500.

Uncertainty

Opposing bail, Mrs McKay said: "He goes under 18 aliases. Police in both Scotland and England wish to interview him about other matters and wish to be informed about the outcome of this application.

"Having all these aliases, it's hard for police to keep an eye on him."

Defence counsel Michael Ward revealed that Griffin is still with the alleged victim of the van theft.

"When this matter came to light the relationship suffered a fair knock, but contact has been made with the injured party," he said.

"She is six months pregnant expecting this applicant's child."

Mr Ward stressed that Griffin wanted to be able to help her during the final stages of the pregnancy.

But the judge questioned the level of support shown by allegedly stealing her van.

Mr Justice Weir then adjourned the hearing due to uncertainty over a proposed bail address in Trillick, County Tyrone.

According to police the property has been unoccupied for up to five years.

The judge said: "We need to adjourn the application until we see what the position is about the house."