Wigan teen used OAP’s bank card after wife’s death

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court

A tearaway teen who used a credit card stolen from a pensioner who buried his wife just days earlier has walked free from court.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has appeared at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court charged with making a false representation.

The youngster, from Norley, was caught on a store’s CCTV spending the widower’s money on alcohol and cigarettes.

The victim, 92-year-old John Lees also from Norley, spoke about the devastation of finding his bank card missing just days after burying his wife.

He attempted to attend youth court to see the teen’s sentencing but was told he could not enter without prior registration.

Mr Lees said: “My wife Elizabeth died earlier this year at the age of 87; she had been suffering from dementia.

“I buried her in April.

“It was a difficult time but then made worse by what happened only days later.

“It was bin day. I had come home and put my jacket on the back of the door and then was in and out.

“I heard a rustling noise and shouted out ‘who is there? Is anyone there?’ but I just heard a whoop as if the intruder had found something.

“I did not see the burglar and the police could not prove that the person who spent my money was the same person who stole the card from my jacket in the first place.

“But I know this teenager and they caught him on CCTV using the card in Pemberton.

“He went on a spree spending £80 before he was caught.

“In doing what he did he showed no respect for me or my late wife. It was very upsetting.”

The teen was due to appear in court a couple of weeks ago but a warrant was issued when he failed to show up.

When he did finally attend youth court last Thursday, he pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

This plea was taken into account during sentencing.

He faced only one charge as police were unable to charge him with burglary as there was no evidence to pin the theft of Mr Lees’s card on him.

The youngster received a conditional discharge for 12 months, meaning that he will face no punitive measures for his crime unless he commits any other offences in the next year.

He was given a £15 victim surcharge and ordered to pay £85 in court costs.

Despite using Mr Lees' bank card, no order has been made for him to pay anything in compensation.