A fraudster who tried to trick a bank in Leighton Buzzard into giving him £1,800 has been shown mercy by a judge and given help to beat his drug addiction.
Simon Dunne was told by Judge David Farrell QC at Luton Crown Court on Tuesday “if we can stop you taking drugs, you will stop offending. That’s what you want. That’s what you have told us. I have decided you are worth a chance.”
Dunne, 48, had gone into the NatWest Bank in the town on May 15 this year with a forged cheque for £1,800 and a fake driving licence in the name of Phillip Samuels who the cheque was made out to.
But staff became suspicious and the police were called.
Dunne fled the bank and went into a nearby betting shop where he was arrested.
He made a full and frank admission to police saying he had tried to cash the cheque on behalf of others who had supplied him with the cheque, the fake licence and even driven him to the bank.
Dunne claimed he was to get a 20 per cent cut of the proceeds which he planned to spend on funding his drug addiction.
The court was told he had previous convictions for similar fraud matters.
But Judge Farrell was told that since his remand into custody Dunne, of Nechells Park Road, Nechells in Birmingam had demonstrated a willingness and the motivation to tackle his drug problem which had been behind much of his offending in the past.
Judge Farrell told Dunne he was willing to give him a chance and he gave him a 12 month prison sentence which was suspended for two years.
In addition he was put on supervision for the next two years and made the subject of a six-month drug rehabilitation requirement during which time he will be constantly drug tested to make sure he is keeping to his promise to turn his back on them.
The judge told Dunne he will have to attend regular meetings with probation staff and go on courses.
Any breaches, said the judge, could result in Dunne being brought back to court no the suspended sentence activated.