A BRAZEN fraudster stole a bank card and then used it to pay for a taxi he fled the scene of the crime in.

Dale Simpson, from Orford, embarked upon a crime spree across Warrington only weeks after he was spared prison for his role in a disturbance in a pub.

On Wednesday, January 9, he was jailed for a year at Liverpool Crown Court.

The court heard that the 29-year-old, of Kirkstone Avenue, targeted a number of insecure vehicles throughout the Warrington area between September and November last year – stealing bank cards from these cars.

He then used these cards in convenience stores and garages, and to pay for taxis – spending a total of around £85.

It is believed that on at least one occasion, Simpson used a stolen bank card to fund a taxi that took him home from the scene of one such theft.

An appeal to trace his whereabouts was launched after he was caught on CCTV using the stolen cards, and on Monday, December 10, he handed himself into the police.

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Simpson – who appeared via video link to HMP Altcourse and was wearing a black and grey Nike jumper – later admitted his crimes under interview, telling officers that he had committed the frauds in order to pay off debts.

His actions put him in breach of a 12-month suspended prison sentence handed down by Liverpool Crown Court on Wednesday, September 12 for affray – which concerned a disturbance in a pub.

He admitted nine counts of fraud, one of theft, one of attempted theft and breaching a suspended sentence during an earlier court hearing.

Simpson – who has 15 previous convictions for 32 offences including burglary, fraud, theft and handling stolen goods – was described as being ‘remorseful’, having ‘brought shame on his family’.

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The court heard that upon his release from prison, he plans to move to the Wigan area with his girlfriend to ‘make a fresh start’ as he has a ‘number of bad influences’ in Warrington.

Justice William Davis activated the earlier suspended sentence in full and also handed Simpson eight weeks in prison for each additional charge – jail time that will be served concurrently to the 12-month imprisonment.

Sentencing, Justice Davis said: “If you didn’t have such a lengthy record then this would have been a non-custodial sentence, but you do have a very bad record of similar offences – with this one committed while you were on a suspended sentence.

“It was your choice whether you served that sentence, but you did commit another offence.

“Two weeks after you were given the suspended sentence, you went back to your usual crimes of stealing and committing fraud.”