A CONVICTED Kenilworth fraudster returned to his old ways by conning two shopkeepers out of money within months of having been given a suspended prison sentence for similar offences.
But despite also breaching a community sentence, Martin Orridge escaped having the suspended sentence activated – because of the time it took for the case to get to Warwick Crown Court.
The 54 year-old of Ilam Park, Kenilworth, had pleaded guilty to two charges of fraud, committed while subject to the suspended sentence, and breaching a separate community order.
He was given a new 12-month community order, with a rehabilitation activity for 20 days, and was ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work, fined £150 and ordered to pay £550 costs and £130 compensation.
Prosecutor Jane Sarginson said: “These are two minor allegations of fraud, but the reason they are here is because they were identical to a number of offences which were before the court in 2014 when he was made subject to a suspended sentence.”
On that occasion Orridge was sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for 12 months for 34 offences of fraud.
A number of those involved Orridge approaching small businesses claiming he was selling advertising space in voucher booklets – and he received a total of just over £2,000 for adverts in the booklet, which never appeared.
Other offences dealt with in December 2014 included obtaining £3,409 from a printing firm by deception and £396 worth of fuel from service stations.
But despite being subject to the suspended sentence, in May he approached the owner of a Warwick shop claiming he worked for Vouchers For You. He offered advertising space in a voucher booklet, for which the owner paid him £90 in cash.
Two months later Orridge targeted another Warwick shop, again offering advertising space in the non-existent voucher booklet for £90. The owner declined, but when he returned in August, spinning the tale that an advertiser had pulled out and offering the space for just £30, she gave him the money.
Two weeks later he went back to the shop with a story that he had run out of petrol, asking to borrow £10 and promising to repay her the next day.
But he never returned and the voucher booklet was never produced, said Miss Sarginson.
Then in October last year Orridge was given a community order for driving while disqualified – and twice breached the order by failing to turn up for supervision appointments in April.
Delroy Henry, defending, pointed out that since August, although he had breached the community order, Orridge had not committed any further offences.
Sentencing Orridge, Recorder Michael Burrows told him: “On their own the offences would not warrant a custodial sentence, but the most serious aspect is that they were committed in breach of a suspended sentence for similar offences of fraud.
“These offences, however, are now a year old. But for that, I would have activated the suspended sentence.”