Wigan bank card fraudster is sent to jail

Wigan and Leigh Courthouse
Wigan and Leigh Courthouse

A man has been jailed for a crime spree which included using stolen bank cards.


James Ahearne was caught on CCTV twice splashing out on groceries and a takeaway.

Bolton Crown Court heard that one victim woke on the morning of April 28 to discover there had been an intruder in her house and that her purse was missing.

She alerted the police and bank and it was discovered that the stolen card had been used for transactions of £20 and £26 within a minute of each other at the Co-op on Church Street, Orrell. CCTV footage was scrutinised and 20-year-old Ahearne, of Lambton Street, Pemberton, was identified.

The other handling stolen goods crime to which Ahearne pleaded guilty came in the aftermath of an overnight theft from a Ford Focus back in February in which two pairs of sunglasses worth £255 and a cashcard were stolen.

The card was used to buy £12.58 worth of food from McDonalds on Gower Street in the early hours and again the defendant was filmed making the purchase. The court heard that when he was arrested, he was in possession of Subutex, medication which helps in the treatment of drug addiction.

The most recent crimes to which he confessed took place on July 14 when police saw Ahearne walking on Avon Road, Norley.

When he saw them he fled to a house on Medway Walk leaving a rucksack outside. Inside it was a torch, glass hammer and clothing.

He was arrested for the handling and fraud and also for breaking into a Ford Transit van earlier that day on Rose Hill Avenue from which tools worth £2,300 were taken.

Ahearne pleaded guilty to theft from a vehicle, going equipped for theft, two counts of handling stolen goods and fraud. He was jailed for a total of 24 weeks but a previous suspended sentence was also activated so his total term went up to 36 weeks.