Jail for teen fraudster who ripped off relatives

First published in News

A "prolific and persistent" fraudster who plundered his relatives' bank accounts was jailed for 15 months on Friday.

Ryan Glyn Thomas, aged 18, was repeatedly arrested and granted bail but carried on offending.

Swansea crown court heard how on January 13th his nephew's fiancee Ann Marie Sherwood tried to withdraw £60 from a cash machine at Monkton post office, without success.

When her partner, Ben Watts, was told that a man wearing a bra had already withdrawn £200 from the account earlier in the day he immediately knew who was responsible.

In March Thomas contacted the employers of his uncle, scaffolder Graham Watts, and diverted his wages into his own account. Mr Watts lost £2,778 before realising what had happened.

Thomas was again granted bail but went on to forge an application for a store credit card. And on May 5th he gave a cheque to Talbot Timber, of Milford Haven, for £712 worth of building materials knowing the account had already been closed.

By then Thomas had turned on his aunt, Josephine Mary Watts, and using her name obtained a £1,500 emergency loan from the Department for Work and Pensions.

Thomas also diverted her pension payments into an account he controlled in the name of Miss R L Bradshaw, and set up direct debit payments to cover his debts.

On April 28th he wiped out her entire savings of £13,803, some of which he spent on designer clothes.

Thomas, of Observatory Avenue, Hakin, admitted theft and fraud.

His barrister, Francis Jones, said Thomas had had an extremely complicated upbringing and there were issues about his sexual orientation.

When he had been detained for earlier offending he had "suffered enormously" at the hands of other inmates, the court was told.

Judge Paul Thomas said Thomas already had 74 previous convictions, 67 of them for fraud or similar crimes, at the age of only 18.

"Mrs Watts helped to bring you up and you cleaned out her bank account.

"You may be a wholly incompetent fraudster but you are prolific and persistent. Nothing seems to deter you," he added.

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