A LODGER from Ellesmere Port stole his landlady’s credit cards and went on a hotel, pizza and sweets spending spree.

Dylan Wilkinson, 22, who works part-time at McDonald’s at Cheshire Oaks, also tried to buy other items including three mobile phones worth almost £1,000 but the transactions were declined.

Chester Magistrates Court heard that he had lived with Jeanette Evans for a number of weeks, and she considered him a “lovely young man”.

But on March 25 he betrayed her trust by trousering two of her bank cards and memorising the details of a third, which he used to book himself into a hotel.

He then moved between Ellesmere Port and Northwich using the cards to buy confectionary, pizza, coffee and cigarettes, among other things.

Eve Johnson, prosecuting, said Mrs Evans only became aware of the theft and fraud when her bank alerted her to the fact there were pending transactions that would make her overdrawn.

Wilkinson, of Denbigh Court, was sentenced to a 12-month community order to include 100 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay Mrs Evans £150 in compensation for the distress caused.

Tony Birchall, defending, said his client accepted he had committed an abuse of trust, and had pleaded guilty to theft and fraud, as well as a charge of possessing cannabis.

“He was only working part-time at McDonald’s on a small income and he was behind with his rent,” the solicitor said. “He is very sorry.”

The court heard the defendant had recently lost both of his grandparents and had no other family support. He has two children but has no contact with them.

He had moved in with Mrs Evans, whom he knew well, and “lost his head” when he decided to steal her bank cards.

“On this occasion he has stupidly and recklessly gone off on a journey of his own,” said Mr Birchall. “It was madness. There was no prospect of not being caught.”

He also stressed that only £186 worth of transactions cleared - £120 for the hotel and £66 for food, cigarettes and other sundries.

As part of his community order, Wilkinson must also complete up to 20 days of rehabilitation activity as well as a ‘Thinking Skills’ programme.

He was ordered to pay £85 court costs and a victim surcharge of the same amount.