Belfast Telegraph

Con artist who spent £22k on Stephen Nolan's credit card walks free from court

By Ashleigh McDonald

A fraudster who used credit cards belonging to radio and TV presenter Stephen Nolan to run up a £22,000 bill in restaurants, clothes shops and off-licences has escaped being sent to jail.

John Cartmill's other celebrity victims included This Morning host Eamonn Holmes and Anthony Banks, who appeared on the TV programme The Secret Millionaire.

Businessman Banks is chairman of Balhousie Care Group, Scotland's largest private residential care home provider.

Cartmill (32), from Brewery Lane in Ballinderry, admitted 76 charges – of which 43 counts of fraud by false representation involved the use of two credit cards belonging to Stephen Nolan.

Crown prosecutor Philip Henry said Cartmill had carried out "a sophisticated fraud".

Belfast Crown Court heard Cartmill rang Mr Nolan's bank and asked for personal details to be changed and asked for a replacement card to be delivered to an address in Belfast. He also rang requesting the credit limit on the card be increased.

Cartmill even set up an email address in Mr Nolan's name, which Mr Henry said displayed a "multi-layered approach" to his offending.

One of Mr Nolan's cards was used 43 times, while two transactions were made on a second card. When the offending came to light, Cartmill was identified from CCTV in some of the premises where he made purchases.

Also defrauded by Cartmill was Belfast-born TV presenter Eamonn Holmes.

These offences, all committed in February 2011, included transactions to local companies for building materials and amounted to around £17,000.

Cartmill also managed to persuade a bank he was 'Secret Millionaire' Tony Banks. He then told them he was in Barbados, that his credit card had been stolen and requested they send a replacement to a hotel in Belfast.

It was subsequently used around four times between December 2010 and February 2011.

Another victim included a man Cartmill had known for around 10 years whose identity he effectively stole.

An account was opened in this man's name and scores of transactions were carried out in his name, including Post Office withdrawals and for flights returning from Portugal and Amsterdam.

Cartmill was jailed last year for similar offences.

Acknowledging that since his release, Cartmill had been working well with probation, Judge David McFarland handed him a two-year prison sentence, which was suspended for two years.

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