Mansfield crack addict used ill OAP mum’s bank card to fund habit

Mansfield Magistrates Court.
Mansfield Magistrates Court.

A Mansfield man ran up a £1,300 debt on his 81-year-old mum’s bank card buying catalogue mobile phones which he sold to fund a crack cocaine habit, a court heard.

Robert Argyle bought £806 of goods from Argos, between October 5 and October 19, last year, and £574 worth from the Studio Catalogue Company, between October 1, and December 20, last year.

“He was living with his mother at the time and she became aware he was using drugs again and wanted him to leave the flat,” said Neil Hollett, prosecuting.

She discovered the deception when her daughter went shopping with the card and found it had been rejected because the overdraft limit had been exceeded.

Argyle gave “a full and drank admission”, and admitted using crack cocaine as he was coming off heroin.

“He told police he loved his mum dearly and hated himself for what he had done,” said Mr Hollett.

In a victim statement, his mother, who did not appear in court because she suffers from heart and lung problems, said she felt “angry and disappointed by what he had done.”

“She didn’t believe he would ever do something like this. She feels let down and the situation has caused her, and her daughter, stress,” added Mr Hollett.

Argyle, 40, of Farndon Way, admitted two counts of fraud by false representation when he appeared before magistrates in Mansfield, on Thursday.

Nicola Thorpe, mitigating, said he was “extremely remorseful and regretful”.

He began taking drugs again after a relationship broke down and he lost his job, she said.

“He found himmself homeless and used the card to fund his habit,” Ms Thorpe said, but added that he was now off drugs. 
“His fear is that if goes back to prison all the progress he has made in the past four months would be undone.”

He was jailed last year for breaching a community order, the court heard.

Argyle was given a 26 week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, with a six day drug treatment programme and ten days of a rehabilitation activity.

He was ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge and costs of £85.