A man who stole thousands of pounds from his girlfriend, while she was seriously ill in hospital, has been put behind bars.
Nikki Aspinall spent the cash on debts he had accumulated. At one point his partner had been admitted to hospital with suspected meningitis.
He stole £6,000 from her in total, some of it while she was in hospital.
She later challenged him about what had taken place. He denied it and only admitted responsibility when they were on a Spanish beach during a short break.
Aspinall, 23, of Church Street, Blackpool, had admitted theft and driving offences of not having insurance, a full driving licence and fraudulently using a registration mark.
He was given a total of 12 months’ jail by a judge at Preston Crown Court.
The theft covered a period between September and October last year. David Clarke, prosecuting, said the two had met in March last year and started a relationship.
She had never given Aspinall access to her account or her PIN numbers.
She presumed, the court heard, that he must have looked over her shoulder at some point, while she was using a cash machine, in order to get her chip and pin details.
A total of £600 was withdrawn from her account on two consecutive days in September.
Mr Clarke told the court: “By October 5 she became very poorly with suspected meningitis and had to go into hospital.
“When she was released from the short spell in hospital her bank got in touch just before they were due to go to Spain for two days, to visit her mother and brother.
“They explained there had been a series of transactions over the previous two weeks, over the internet. She realised the only other person who would have been able to do that would have been the defendant.
“She challenged him about it all. He denied it. They went away and only on a beach in Spain did he then admit he was responsible for what had taken place”.
The total amount of money stolen was £6,033 which had been taken through 10 cash withdrawals and two debit card transactions.
The court heard there is uncertainty about whether the bank will refund the money stolen.
Julie Taylor, defending, told the court: “He says they are still living together and there is still a relationship, albeit a rocky one.
“He didn’t realise and didn’t appreciate the consequences would be that a loss would be caused to her, or her family. He thought the bank would refund them the money and that they themselves wouldn’t suffer the loss.”
At the time, Aspinall was working in sales and had debts. He took the opportunity to take money, to repay those debts.