A serial fraudster who went back to work for his Ghanaian gangmasters just a day after being released from prison has been jailed for scams totalling nearly £80,000.
Julian Mabbutt was instructed to try to steal £11,500 from a branch of Halifax using a doctored passport, and got away with £2,500 on his first visit.
But he aroused suspicions when he returned the next day and tried to take out another £9,000, leading to his arrest.
The father-of-two asked for seven further offences to be taken into account when he appeared at Northampton Crown Court, taking the total figure of attempted fraud to £78,993.
The court heard Mabbutt has 82 previous convictions dating back to 1987, including further dishonesty offences, violence, drugs offences, shoplifting and burglary.
Mabbutt, aged 41, of Swale Drive, King’s Heath, Northampton, admitted two charges of fraud by false representation, and one of possession of false identification documents. He was jailed for 20 months.
The court heard Mabbutt went into Halifax, in Corporation Street, Corby, on February 9 last year, and withdrew £2,500 using someone else’s passport with his picture on it.
When he returned and tried to withdraw £9,000, the cashier became suspicious and asked him to produce a signature, which did not match the one on record.
Alexandra Bull, prosecuting, said: “He told officers on arrest that he was withdrawing the money for a job he was on. It was accepted by the police that there was a gang and he was at the bottom of chain of command.
“Ghanaian males offered him work and if he refused, they beat him. This is aggravated by the identity fraud, it being professionally planned and carried out over a period of time.”
Henry James, mitigating, said: “He has an unenviable record. People who get involved with criminal gangs must reap the whirlwind.
“He is the frontman who is sent out to take the risks. He is not a man of good character but he has worked significantly through his life.”
Sentencing Mabbutt, Recorder Geoffrey Kelly, said: “You have two children who presumably look up to you, and it is incredible that you find yourself before this court so regularly.
“You have a horrendous record and there is no doubt in my mind the custody threshold has been passed.”