Second Romanian fraudster jailed for targeting elderly Cirencester man in heartless bank-card theft that left him £1,200 out of pocket
THE accomplice to the Romanian fraudster, who was spared jail after targeting an elderly Cirencester resident in a "nasty" bank-card theft, has been jailed after finally being brought to justice.
Marius Durichan-Costea, who has been living in Wolverhampton since 2009, was given a 24-week custodial sentence, with 12 weeks of it to be served on license in the community, after avoiding a court appearance for nearly two years.
Cheltenham Magistrates Court heard that the Romanian native, along with partner-in-crime Remus Hangalet, took £1,200 from 74-year-old James Mallinson of Cirencester after stealing his bank card on October 6, 2011.
The two defendants had followed Mr Mallinson around the Cirencester branch of Waitrose before carefully watching the pensioner enter his pin number as he paid for his shopping.
They then followed Mr Mallinson back to his home address before approaching him with a map and asking him for directions to London.
The pair asked him for two ten pound notes in exchange for a twenty, which Mr Mallinson agreed to.
He quickly discovered that his bank card had been stolen and over £1,000 withdrawn from his account.
The defendant, who spoke to the court through an interpreter, pleaded guilty to three charges of theft, fraud and bail offences.
Graham Daniel, defending, said: “He has been here for four years and he has acquired, during that time, just two convictions both of an entirely different nature.
“The dishonesty was particularly nasty but the individual was not actually left of pocket.”
It was heard that Mr Mallinson's money was refunded to him by his bank.
However, District Judge Joti Boparai said: “I don’t think you can find any worse case than this when it comes to theft.
“I haven’t heard how the gentlemen felt after this incident but I’m sure he felt particularly shaken up because people knew where he lived.
“To your credit, you did make admissions to the police and you also admitted this case in court. However, because of the nature the fact you’ve been out of court for two years, I must impose custody.”
Remus Hangalet was previously sentenced on September 4 and was given a 12-month suspended sentence following two years on the run.
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