Man stole thousands from his own gran

Crime story
Crime story

A WIGAN man who racked up a bill for thousands of pounds on his grandmother’s credit card could face a jail sentence.

Zacharey Frank McKnight pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation and will return to court to learn his fate next month.

The 22-year-old, who appeared before Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court earlier this week, heard a victim’s impact statement describing how his grandmother Marjorie McKnight has become “ill” from carrying the burden of his actions.

But the case was adjourned before sentencing as a request for a restraining order was disputed by the 22-year-old’s solicitor.

Earlier, the court had heard that McKnight, of Moor Road, Orrell, had permission to use his grandmother’s card to top up his mobile phone but took advantage of her trust “on hundreds of occasions.”

Over a four month period between November 2013 and February 2014, Mrs McKnight estimated £4,768.59 was charged to the card and when she confronted her grandson with her suspicions, the details “were always denied” by Zach.

Jane Sharpe, prosecuting, explained that Mrs McKnight told her daughter, Leslie, Zach’s mother, who urged her to report what had happened to the police.

In a statement read to the court by prosecuting counsel Jane Sharpe, Mrs McKnight, who was not present, said: “I have been carrying this burden for a long time. This whole situation has made me ill.

“I love Zach and I always will but I know now that I have to cut contact with him.”

McKnight’s defence case disputed the amount spent on the credit card and his guilty plea was based on accepting responsibility for between £2,500 and £3,500 of unauthorised payments, the court heard.

The case was stood down briefly when Peter Moran, defending, informed the bench that, due to Marjorie McKnight’s statement having been made in February, her attitude to her grandson had since thawed and a restraining order was no longer required.

When proceedings reconvened, Ms Sharpe said contact had been made with Leslie McKnight and a restraining order was still being sought by the family.

However, as the subject of the application was McKnight’s grandmother, who could not be contacted from court, the case was adjourned until May 19 for clarification.