A homeless man used a stolen bank card to buy items worth more than £200.

Simon Lee Williams, 41, used a card given to him by another man to make numerous contactless payments at payments at Wrexham shops on Boxing Day.

James Neary, prosecuting at Wrexham Magistrates Court, said the owner of the card had last used it on Merlin Street, Johnstown, on Christmas Day and realised it was lost at about 5pm the next day.

He spoke to the fraud department which said the card had been used several times, right up until the point where it was cancelled.

Other items in the victim’s missing wallet included gift vouchers worth £60, cash, his driver’s licence and travel card.

Police identified Simon Williams and another man, Ioan McKenzie, from CCTV footage and arrested them.

Simon Williams told police that McKenzie had found the wallet and given the card to him, but
he denied taking anything else from it.

Mr Neary added Simon Williams would have known that anything given to McKenzie was not reliable to use and that he was certainly not the cardholder.

Simon Williams, who appeared from custody, pleaded guilty to seven counts of fraud by false representation and one attempted fraud.

He admitted to using the card to buy alcohol and food worth £32.56 from Chata Polska on St George’s Crescent; food worth £19.52 from the nearby KFC as well as two offences totalling £58.12 from McColl’s on Holt Road.

Simon Williams also admitted fraudulently using the card to obtain a mobile phone worth £30 at O2 in Hope Street, two transactions worth a total of £101.09 at the nearby McColl’s and an attempted fraud at Beechley Service Station in Kingsmills Road.  

Alun Williams, defending, said his client had been released from custody on December 23 and sent to a bail hostel in Bangor.

Unfortunately the hostel did not have his medication and refused him entry, leaving him with nowhere to stay and no means to get back to Wrexham.

Simon Williams persuaded a train guard to let him return, where he spent December 23-25 on the streets.

On Boxing Day he was given the card and foolishly, but perhaps understandably, succumbed to temptation, Alun Williams added.

Items included food, alcohol, provisions and a Christmas lunch for him and a friend.

The O2 transaction did not go through, the court heard.

Alun Williams said it was quite clear Simon Williams was not the cardholder and it was slightly surprising that the stores did not challenge him, magistrates heard.

Probation has deemed him not suitable for further intervention because he was unmanageable in the community – partly because of his homelessness, Alun Williams said.

He detailed unsuccessful attempts to find accommodation in Ruabon and told how his client was in a “perpetual cycle” of offending, prison, not receiving support and returning to custody.

Alun Williams said his client had nowhere to go and in the circumstances he could not oppose custody.

Ceri Hughes, chairman of the bench, jailed Simon Williams for six months. He must also pay compensation of £307.75 as well as a £115 surcharge.