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Merseyside ex-marine jailed for bank fraud

A Merseyside ex-royal marine has been jailed for trying to withdraw cash from a stranger's bank account.

Simon Summers, 36, who served for four and a half years, had suffered a drink and drugs problem after leaving the marines, the Old Bailey heard.

He attempted to withdraw £8,500 using a false passport from a Barclays bank in Fleet Street, London.

Summers, of Thornton Road, Bootle, was jailed for four months.

It was while he was in custody for a similar offence that a prison officer recognised Summers from a photograph in a police publication about the Fleet Street fraud.

Judge Gerald Gordon told Summers: "I hope you can turn back into the sort of man you used to be."

The court heard that Summers, who left the marines in 2002 to spend more time with his wife and son, started taking drugs after his marriage failed.

He had been threatened by cocaine dealers, who claimed he owed them £10,000 and told him that they knew where his 13-year-old son went to school, the court heard.

'Out of character'

In February staff at the Fleet Street branch of Barclays discovered Summers was not who he claimed to be, but he had already walked out, leaving the false passport behind.

The court heard he tried to carry out a similar fraud weeks later, but was caught and jailed for six months.

Summers, who had been due to be released from the previous term within days, pleaded guilty to possession of a false identity document and fraud.

The judge said his crime was "entirely out of character".

He added: "It is indeed a sad and unhappily not entirely unfamiliar picture - service in the armed forces followed by no doubt difficulty in readjusting to civilian life."

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