A man had his credit card stolen by the son of a friend he was trusting to carry out decorating work in his property while he was working offshore.
Dean Smith, 33, knew his dad had the key to the victim’s flat in St Vincent’s Street, South Shields, and took the key in order to break in and steal his credit card in January last year.
It was not until the victim checked his online banking that he became suspicious and realised his credit card had been used to obtain £990 worth of jewellery.
Kevin Wardlaw, prosecuting, said: “The victim knew the defendant’s father for a number of years. He used the defendant’s father to carry out work.
“He works offshore, the key to his address was handed to the defendant’s father for work to be done.
“The defendant took the key for the address and took the credit card.
“He used the card to obtain the jewellery, a neck chain and a wrist chain.
“They were taken from the defendant when he was arrested.”
Smith, of Dock Street, South Shields, South Tyneside, admitted burglary and two offences of fraud at an earlier hearing.
Judge Robin Mairs told Smith: “The victim was a friend of your fathers.
“Your father often did decorating work for him.
“He trusted your father when he was working off shore and left his key with him so he could carry out work.
“That’s when you burgled it and used the credit card in it to order goods for yourself.
“This is a fairly mean, despicable and dishonest offence carried out by someone who has a mean and despicable record.
“You deserve to go to prison for it but I read there is some work that would be done with you.”
Judge Mairs sentenced Smith to 18 months in prison suspended for two years with 12 months supervision.
He also handed him a drugs rehabilitation order for nine months.