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Man who defrauded brother-in-law out of over £1,200 handed suspended sentence

Court heard defendant was 'a man with gambling issues' but he has since paid the money back

Craigavon Courthouse

A Lurgan man who defrauded his brother-in-law out of over £1,200 in order to fund his “gambling addiction” has been handed a suspended sentence.

The 37-year-old’s barrister told court: “This does appear to be out of character, he has no previous record, but he is a man with gambling issues. He was in the throes of this addiction and thought he could gamble his way through it.”

Jerry Lee Jackson, of Knockramer Meadows, pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation at Craigavon Magistrates’, sitting at Lisburn, on Friday.

Prosecution outlined that on August 21, of last year, police received a report from the injured party that someone had made a bank transaction with Nationwide using their name.

An overdraft had been made in this account and they had received letters from the bank regarding overdue balance of over £1,200.

The injured party contacted Nationwide who had started investigating but after realising the overdraft was affecting his credit score he settled the debt.

He was later approached by his brother-in-law – the defendant – who admitted to opening the account and he reimbursed him at £100 a week before paying off the full debt.

District Judge Rosie Watters commented: “It is a bit mean doing this to your brother-in-law.”

Defence barrister David McKeown stated: “It is very unusual, somewhat of a mean case, and it has caused considerable family tension which Mr Jackson has had to deal with in the aftermath.

“This does appear to be out of character, he has no previous record, but he is a man with gambling issues. He was in the throes  of this addiction and thought he could gamble his way through it.”

He continued: “To his credit he owned up and has paid the money back. He also has repeatedly attended Gamblers  Anonymous.

“He has learned a very salutary lesson and is keen not to be before the courts again.”

District Judge Watters stated: “I doubt there is anything that probation can do. This was a serious offence but I have no doubt that this is someone not likely to be before the courts again.”

Jackson was sentenced to three months in prison suspended for a period of 12 months.

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