A fraudster attempted to fund his cocaine habit by stealing his niece’s details to apply for a credit card.
She called the police and the application was traced to Brendan Rogers’ workplace but the card was never used, St Albans Crown Court heard on Thursday (June 25).
Rogers, now of The Elms, Redbourn Road, Hemel Hempstead, was arrested last July and made no comment to police questions.
He pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation when he appeared at the crown court.
The court was told Rogers had five convictions for 14 offences.
In 2008 and 2010 he had received suspended sentences for fraud.
Rupert Hallowes, defending, said until 2008 Rogers had lived a normal life, but he had started taking cocaine.
“It caused him and those around him irreparable damage,” the court heard.
“He is utterly disgusted with himself for what he did last July. It was his niece. She was living with him and his mother for many years. Through me he wishes to offer a profound apology.”
He said he had taken steps to deal with his cocaine problem and was living at The Elms.
“He has a full time key worker who ensures he is kept on the straight and narrow.”
Mr Hallowes said Rogers had been a ‘pest’, but had not been before the courts for five years.
Judge Martin Griffith told him: “It is very sad that a man of your age stands in the dock yet again involved in a fraud.
“The background appears to be Class A drugs - there are no problems to which a line of white powder is the answer.
“This was disgusting behaviour by you. You stole your niece’s identity because you knew her.”
He passed an eight-month jail sentence suspended for two years, on condition that he commits no more offences. The judge warned him that possession of cocaine was an offence.
Rogers was also given an 18 month Community Order. He must attend a building skills programme and undergo supervision by probation officers.