A Mansfield man reported his mobile phone as stolen 24 hours after selling it for £340 via Gumtree in a fraud he “could never have gotten away with”, a court heard.
When Benjamin Allsop’s victim tried to use the Samsung phone and his sim card wouldn’t work, he rang the phone company and discovered it had been reported stolen and the number was blocked.
Prosecutor Robert Carr said Allsop told the man there had been a mistake, but then stopped answering his calls.
In police interview, he eventually admitted the fraud and said he had been suffering financial struggles.
Allsop, 32, of Kings Stand, admitted fraud by false representation, when he appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Friday.
The court heard the offence took place on September 22, 2017, and Allsop appeared in court on November 6, for drink driving and theft from a dwelling, when he was given a 12 month community order, with 30 days of a rehabilitation activity requirement, and a three year ban.
Chris Perry, mitigating, said: “He could never have gotten away with it and it has come back to him. He was struggling to pay his bills. It wasn’t a complex fraud.”
He said Allsop, a self-employed joiner, was still paying the contract on his own phone, but police had seized it as part of the investigation.
“He is now working with the probation service closely,” added Mr Perry. “He will have regular contact for the next six months.”
Presiding magistrate Roger Faulkner handed Allsop a conditional discharge for two years, and ordered him to pay £340 to his victim.