3:20pm Friday 25th October 2013
A “PROFESSIONAL confidence trickster” bought goods worth more than £12,000 by passing dud cheques at shops, including one in Ledbury, a court was told.
Conman Mark Bainbridge carried out the crimes in April and May this year – travelling across a wide area south of the Midlands – despite being on bail for similar offences at the time.
The 35-year-old, of Tidbury Green Golf Club, Tilehouse Lane, Tidbury Green, Solihull, pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to a total of 19 charges of fraud.
The court was told how he used cheques from a closed account, in the name of Midwest Mortgage Management, to purchase goods worth £12,176.
He passed a worthless cheque to pay for £500 worth of book tokens at Ledbury Books and Maps in High Street, Ledbury, the day after doing the same at Wenlock Books in Shrewsbury to get £300 worth of book tokens.
Asking for the case to be adjourned for a pre-sentence report, Nick Devine, defending, said the offences predated the prison sentence Bainbridge received in October last year at Worcester Crown Court.
But Judge Alan Parker warned Bainbridge that he faced jail. “These offences were committed while on bail for those earlier offences,” he said.
“He’s a professional confidence trickster as well as a fraudster.
“It is apparent that while he was on bail awaiting trial at Worcester, he crisscrossed the country committing these offences.”
The first offence took place in Alcester in April, when he used a dud cheque to pay for £607 worth of Dermalogia toiletries from the Attic beauty salon in Market Place. He then went to Jacob Anthony hair salon in Studley, where he bought two pairs hair straighteners costing £238.
He moved on to Staffordshire where he targeted Boho Beauty Rooms in High Street, Wombourne, to buy £608 worth of Dermalogia toiletries.
He switched his attention to Worcester on May 1, obtaining a £550 gold bracelet from Jenny Wood Antiques and a £499 Schwimm bicycle from Hattons Cycles.
Bainbridge then returned to south Warwickshire where he passed another dud cheque to buy clothing worth £700 from E H Spencer in Market Place, Shipston-on- Stour.
After casting his net wider to commit offences in Cheshire and then Wiltshire, Bainbridge returned to the Midlands to obtain an £890 necklace from CNW Jewellers in Kinver, near Stourbridge, on May 15.
The following day he got silverware worth £1,000 from Church Lane Antiques in Stafford.
At the end of the month, Bainbridge struck for the last time before his arrest when he obtained four scooters worth £556 from Hednesford Cycles in Cannock, near Wolverhampton.
Mr Devine said that since his release from prison, Bainbridge had been “engaging fully with the probation service” and had a job as a recruitment consultant and was trying to repay his victims.
Judge Parker agreed to grant Bainbridge bail with conditions of residence at his home address, with an 8pm to 6am, electronically-tagged curfew.
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