A MAN who stole a debit card from a woman in Knutsford and used it 25 times has been handed a community order.

Richard Lea, 38, of Hall Lane in Mobberley, took the Santander Bank card belonging to Amber Cooper on August 15 this year, before going on a spending spree around the town, making almost £200 of illegal purchases.

As well as pleading guilty to the charge of theft and the 25 counts of fraud, Lea was also charged with failing to surrender to Stockport Magistrates Court on November 2 having been released on police bail in September.

The defendant appeared at Warrington Magistrates Court on Friday, November 20, which was hearing the case on behalf of their counterparts in Greater Manchester.

They heard how Lea took the card on August 15 and during the course of the day used it to make 25 different transactions worth a varying value of money, from the smallest of £1.80 to the biggest of £29.50.

After taking into account Lea's guilty pleas to all charges, Magistrates made him subject of a community order for a period of 20 weeks.

The requirements of that order mean Lea will have to adhere to the terms of a night time curfew between the hours of 7pm-7am every day until April 8 next year.

He was also ordered to pay £150 in compensation to his victim, a surcharge of £95 and £85 in prosecution costs.