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Trickster used closed account to fund spree

Malvern Editorial 20th Nov, 2013 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

A PROFESSIONAL confidence trickster who passed dud cheques at a shop in Ledbury and others across the Midlands was on bail for similar offences at the time.

Mark Bainbridge of Tilehouse Lane, Tidbury Green in Solihull, was jailed for 20 months after pleading guilty at Warwick Crown Court to a total of 19 charges.

The court heard the 35-year-old used cheques from a closed account in the name of Midwest Mortgage Management to goods worth a total of £12,176 in April and May last year.

Prosecutor Matthew Brook said that at the time Bainbridge was on bail, having been arrested and interviewed over similar matters in Worcester for which he was subsequently jailed at Worcester Crown Court for two years.

Bainbridge, who has 12 aliases on his antecedent form, had a total of ten previous convictions for 59 offences, of which 47 were for frauds or similar offences.

Last year he had passed a worthless cheque to pay for £500 worth of book tokens at Ledbury Books and Maps in the High Street, the day after doing the same at Wenlock Books in Shrewsbury to get £300 worth of book tokens.

Mr Brook said his latest offences began on April 14, 2012, at The Attic beauty salon in Market Place, Alcester, where he selected £607 worth of Dermalogia toiletries.

Claiming they were for use as prizes for people at work, he paid with a Midwest Mortgage Management cheque – which was worthless because the account was closed a year earlier.

When the cheque bounced, the police were called in, and during the investigation all the other offences came to light, with Bainbridge being identified from CCTV recordings or from his fingerprints on the cheques he passed.

The same day he had also struck at the Jacob Anthony hair salon in High Street, Studley, where he bought two pairs of Peacock GHD hair straighteners costing £238.

Nick Devine, defending, said since his release from prison in April, Bainbridge had obtained a full-time job with a recruitment firm earning £2,000 a month.

But jailing Bainbridge, Judge Sylvia de Bertodano told him: “You have made something of a career of this sort of behaviour over the years.

“You have spent several years in total in prison for dishonesty, and you were on bail at the time you committed these matters.  This was an offence of greed rather than an offence of need.”

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