Wrexham mobile phone salesman stole £11k from elderly victim

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Mold Crown Court, where Flintshire Magistrates' Court is basedImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Judge Niclas Parry told Phillip George he was sparing him jail because he had shown genuine remorse

A man who walked into a police station to admit he had stolen £11,000 from a vulnerable elderly man has avoided a prison sentence.

Phillip George, 37, drained the cash from his victim's bank account and blew it on gambling, Mold Crown Court heard.

George worked in a mobile phone shop and used the opportunity to steal his elderly customer's account details.

Judge Niclas Parry sentenced George, of Adis Terrace, Llanelli, to eight months in prison, suspended for a year.

George, who was living in Wrexham at the time of the offence, was also ordered to complete 100 hours' unpaid work and 15 days of rehabilitation.

'Last few pennies'

The court heard Barclays Bank had compensated the man, who is in his 70s and lives alone, and George will repay the bank in instalments of £50 a month.

Jonathan Austin, prosecuting, said the victim had gone to the bank and asked for help to pay a bill, but was confused to be told he was down to his last few pennies.

But before the matter was reported, the defendant walked into the police station and admitted what he had done.

It turned out that for a four-month period he had had control of the man's accounts.

'Lost everything'

Judge Parry told George it had been a mean offence.

"A vulnerable man who has enough problems in his life has lost everything. It happened because you saw an opportunity," he said.

But the judge said George had shown genuine remorse by admitting the crime "before it came to light".

The court heard George was a gambling addict, which he was now getting help for.

It would be counterproductive to send him to prison, Judge Parry said.

George thanked the judge and said he was genuinely sorry.