Two men given suspended jail terms over cash point frauds in Pembrokeshire

Western Telegraph: SUSPENDED SENTENCES:Two Romanian men have received suspended sentences for tampering with cash machines in Pembrokeshire. (3492671) SUSPENDED SENTENCES:Two Romanian men have received suspended sentences for tampering with cash machines in Pembrokeshire. (3492671)

Two Romanians who tried to steal from cash machines across Pembrokeshire—succeeding just the once—have received suspended prison sentences.

Lucian Ghiurcuta, aged 29, had denied attempting to steal, two of theft, two of possessing articles to use in fraud and one of actual fraud. He was convicted of all of the offences after a trial at Swansea crown court.

Mihai Patrascu, 25, admitted the first five offences on the day the trial was about to start.

During Ghiurcuta’s trial the jury heard how the men had travelled from their home in Wiltshire to fit copying devices onto cash machines that were able to gather data from the cards used by members of the public.

CCTV cameras captured the men interfering with machines in Pembroke and Tenby.

A High Court judge, Mr Justice Wyn Williams—sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice in London and connected to Swansea crown court by video link—said the men had used a skimming device to obtain the credit card details of Kay Kees, and got away with £943 by using the card to buy goods or withdraw cash.

They also made several attempts at other cash points.

He said the pair were caught a few days later when police stopped their car in Birmingham and discovered items that could be used to defraud.

Mr Justice Williams said he had no doubt a third man had been involved but he had “fled to Romania to escape justice.”

Ghiurcuta was jailed for nine months and Patrascu for eight, both sentences suspended for two years.

Ghiurcuta was ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work for the community and Patrascu 90.

They were also ordered to pay the Nationwide bank £943.

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