A teenage confidence trickster, who stole from vulnerable people he was meant to be helping, was today locked up by a judge.
Mohammed Awais, 18, abused his position as a trainee project advice assistant with the Hope Christian Care Centre, in Holme Wood, Bradford, to store details of clients’ bank accounts and steal money from them.
Bradford Crown Court heard today that Awais got away with around £1,000 from five victims, including £700 from a man who had fought cancer.
He kept his bank details on his personal iphone and withdrew money from his account, using it to buy laptops and ipads and run up hotel bills.
His victims also included disabled people and a woman with arthritis.
Sentencing him to eight months in youth custody, Judge Robert Bartfield told Awais: “People in a position of trust, as you were, who breach that trust almost inevitably will go to prison.”
Judge Bartfield said it was a confidence fraud with a degree of planning.
Prosecutor Samuel Andrews said the Christian charity service had been operating in Holme Wood since 1986. It aided vulnerable people seeking help and advice about benefits.
Mr Andrews said that when Awais applied for the job he did not disclose that he had previous convictions, which included sexual offences and aggravated vehicle taking.
The offences against the first victim came to light in October last year, only three months after the defendant applied for the job. When arrested, he admitted what he had done and provided police with information about his other victims.
Awais, of Hope Avenue, Marshfields, Bradford, pleaded guilty to five charges of fraud by abuse of position and one of dishonestly failing to disclose information to make a gain.
His barrister, Imran Khan, told the court: “He was happy to be given a job, a chance in his life, by this decent organisation, however temptation got the better of him.”
Judge Bartfield said Awais had spent the money on luxury items for himself. He added: “You told police you got greedy.”