A drug-addict went on a fraudulent £35,000 spending spree with a debit card belonging to a dead man who had been the previous tenant of his Bulwell flat.
Reynold Wilson, 42, took over the tenancy of the flat on St Albans Road ten weeks after Keith Langley passed away, Nottingham Crown Court heard.
But the Halifax were not informed of Mr Langley’s death and so kept open the bank account that Mr Langley had with them.
Therefore, when Wilson received a new Visa card from the Halifax, he couldn’t believe his luck, the court heard.
He fed a £200 a day drugs habit and used the card to buy takeaway meals and goods from companies such as Tesco Direct, Argos, Asda, Amazon, Vodafone, Orange, Matalan
Between October 2013 and February 2014, he successfully spent £18,261.60, the court was told. A further £16,580.75 worth of attempted transactions were blocked.
Wilson, who had a history of drug-related problems, pleaded guilty to committing fraud by making false representations under the name of Mr Langley.
He was handed a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to be supervised by the probation service for two years.
He was also told to undergo drug rehabilitation treatment for nine months.
Recorder Peter Cooke told Wilson: “I accept this was an opportunistic offence. The card dropped through the letterbox and your eyes lit up. It was unsophisticated and easily traceable. You were suffering from an entrenched drugs habit. It is now time that habit was dealt with once and for all. You are willing to engage and are in a positive mindset.”