Great Britain

South Cumbria fraudster ordered to pay back money to customers who never received goods

A JUDGE has ordered a South Cumbria fraudster to pay back people who paid him for high value goods he never supplied.

Carlisle Crown Court heard earlier this year how Samuel Gordon Russell turned to crime while battling drink and gambling problems.‬

‪Russell, 28, contacted some people he knew while working as the deputy manager of an Ambleside outdoor clothing store, offering to supply products at staff discount.

He also offered items - including £100 GPS computers and expensive bike wheels - to others using Facebook selling sites.‬

He took payments from a host of different buyers, none of whom received the goods they had ordered as Russell carried out a scam totalling almost £2,500.‬

‪Russell was sentenced by a judge in July after he admitted nine fraud crimes committed between April and August, 2019.

The court heard he‘d previously been punished by South Cumbria magistrates in December for using a company credit card while employed at the same Lakes shop to splash out almost £2,000 during a Manchester summer spending spree.‬

‪Recorder Eric Lamb noted that Russell had been at a “particularly low ebb” during that time having “fallen prey” to alcohol and gambling addictions.‬

‪But in a heartfelt letter, his parents had described a subsequent positive change in a defendant who was working for his father and free of both drink and betting.‬

Concluding the theft and fraud offences amounted to “one global event”, the judge imposed a two-year community order to run alongside the punishment given in December. That meant Russell, of Fir Tree Rise, Kendal, was ordered to complete a rehabilitation requirement and 300 hours’ unpaid work.‬

But his case was brought back to court on Monday after it emerged there should have been a request for compensation.

Legislation allows for sentences to be varied within 56 days.

Recorder Nicholas Clarke QC said he had been in touch with Recorder Lamb about the request.

“He has said had the application been made at the time, it is within his (Russell’s) means - according to a pre-sentence report - and he would have ordered the compensation to have been paid,” said Recorder Clarke.

As a result, six victims will now be paid back sums of money varying from £25 to £700.

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