Lips sealed over a credit card swindle

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A mum-of-two refused to name others involved in a credit card swindle after she was paid £15 to receive a £1,440 rifle scope.

The rifle scope was ordered in Seven Sisters, London, from hunting and shooting firm William Powell Ltd using a credit card belonging to an innocent party.

The item was delivered to Lucy Burnett’s home in Long Sutton, who signed a false name for the package, but it has not been recovered.

Paul Wood, prosecuting, said: “She refused to name anyone else involved and the trail for the police ran cold.”

On Wednesday magistrates at Boston sentenced Burnett to a 12-week curfew. She will be electronically tagged and must remain at home in Minster Court between 8pm and 7am each day.

Burnett, who admitted handling stolen goods, was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

Paul Wood, prosecuting, said suspicions were raised at William Powell Ltd when there was a second order for an expensive rifle scope and, later, there was a phone call from the actual holder of the credit card who said the original order had nothing to do with her.

He said inquiries were made with the credit card company and it was realised fraudulent activity was taking place with the card.

Solicitor Beris Brickles, mitigating, said Burnett was in desperate financial straits at the time and the idea was put to her by a friend that she could make some money by receiving the package.

He said: “She got paid the princely sum of £15.”

Mr Brickles said Burnett didn’t know what was inside the package, but realised it “probably hadn’t been lawfully obtained”.

She didn’t name the person who asked her to sign for the package because she didn’t want to face reprisals.

Mr Brickles said: “Surprise, surprise, that person and partner have now vanished off the face of the earth leaving her to face the music.”

Presiding magistrate Malcolm Johnson said he hoped the court’s sentence would make Burnett think more carefully about “getting involved when these types of things are going on”.