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Train thief’s bank card spree in Retford

Mansfield Magistrates Court
Mansfield Magistrates Court

A homeless man stole a woman’s bank card from her bag onboard a train before getting off at Retford to begin an £890 spending spree, a court heard.

Tomas Karfik boarded the Leeds-London train on 10.40am, on April 2, when CCTV cameras recorded him taking something from the passenger’s handbag.

Prosecutor Robert Carr said: “He got off at Reford, and went to Asda where he used the contactless card to buy £25 of cigarettes.”

The card was declined when he tried to buy something in Superdrug, and CCTV recorded him going into the station toilets, changing his top, and boarding a train for Leeds.

The court heard that the incident made the card holder “angry” that someone took money she “had worked hard for”, and that it caused her “great inconvenience” because “she hadn’t been able to access financial services during that time.”

Karfik, 26, of Wakefield Road, Kinsley, West Yorkshire, admitted theft and fraud by false representation, between April 2 and April 10, last year, when he appeared before magistrates in Mansfield, on Thursday.

Karfik, who had no previous convictions, told the court he was homeless at the time.

“I had nowhere to go,” he said. “I was four weeks on the street, without food and sleeping rough.

“I wasn’t thinking straight. If I could, I would apologise and I would pay the money back.”

Probation officer Greta Percival said he came to the UK 14 years ago and finished school, but when his father died 12 months ago, his family decided to return to the Czech republic.

He has a partner and two children, she said, and is employed as a caterer.

District judge Andrew Meachin gave Karfik a 12 month community order, with 100 hours of unpaid work.

He was also ordered to pay £100 compensation, with £85 costs and an £85 government surcharge.