Man jailed after using bank cards to feed online addiction

A man who used someone else’s bank card to help feed a computer game addiction is beginning a one-year prison term.

Ian George Mutch, 24, of Leog, Lerwick, was sentenced after admitting the charge when he stood in the dock before Sheriff Philip Mann.

Mutch admitted using a card to hoodwink Google UK into providing him with games on 15th July last year.

Carrying out the offence meant he fraudulently obtained services worth almost £700.

The offending happened after Mutch developed an addiction to the game Gangster’s Paradise.

Sentence had been deferred on another charge after he admitted pretending to various online suppliers that he was the man named on a bank card. His fraud on that occasion was worth £522.78.

Wednesday’s court heard that Mutch had not been keen on a restriction of liberty order, because that would hold him back from playing darts.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said Mutch’s “systematic course of behaviour” was taking advantage.

“I don’t think he’s made reference to his earlier offending in the social enquiry report. That maybe raises questions about his truthfulness,” the fiscal said.

In a previous offence, Mutch stole money off his grandfather. Defence agent Tommy Allan admitted Mutch was someone who had taken advantage of friends and relations. That raised questions about how much empathy Mutch was capable of feeling.

Mr Allan said: “He said there was nothing he wanted to say other than he was sorry he did this.”

Mr Allan added there was a suggestion that a tagging order might be imposed.

“He said that would mean he’d miss his darts,” the agent added – to which Sheriff Philip Mann said he had little sympathy.

But Mr Allan said Mutch was no longer playing Gangster’s Paradise.

Mr Allan said that, despite being addicted to the game, Mutch was “not that badly off”, adding that his client’s total income in benefit was over £1,100 a month.

Sheriff Mann told Mutch there was “no alternative” to custody.


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