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'Greedy and dishonest' labourer stole £29,000 from mum's partner

PUBLISHED: 16:00 02 November 2019 | UPDATED: 18:21 02 November 2019

Ipswich Crown Court Picture: ARCHANT

Ipswich Crown Court Picture: ARCHANT

A self-employed labourer who stole more than £29,000 from his mum's partner to fund a lavish holiday and pay off debts has avoided jail.

Before Ipswich Crown Court on Friday was Ramelle Curtis-Braithwaite, 22, who previously pleaded guilty to two offences of fraud.

The court heard how Curtis-Braithwaite, of Pearl Court, Ipswich, had visited the home of his mother's partner, Adam Hough, in July 2015.

Mr Hough was having problems installing a Barclays online banking app onto his smart phone and Curtis-Braithwaite offered to help.

He left the room for a short while to install the app and then gleamed account information he needed from Mr Hough's phone.

Curtis-Braithwaite began moving money in and out of two bank accounts - Barclays and the Bank of Ireland - which belonged to Mr Hough.

In total, Mr Hough lost £29,017.51 from a period between July 1, 2015, and December 31, 2016.

In September 2015, Curtis-Braithwaite even took his then girlfriend to the Greek island of Rhodes using funds taken from Mr Hough's account.

Curtis-Braithwaite was finally arrested on December 5, 2016.

Police sent phone calls he had made to the banks to a voice comparison expert along with a recorded 999 call he had previously made, and the voices matched.

Curtis-Braithwaite had also given his number to the Bank of Ireland in a telephone call, which police also obtained through the 999 call.

In a victim impact statement read in court, Adam Hough, a supermarket employee, said he had been friends with Curtis-Braithwaite and had trusted him.

He said the betrayal had made him "feel very angry" and the fact he had lied about it when asked "made it doubly upsetting".

Mr Hough added that the money was an inheritance he had received.

Emma Heath, defending, said the theme of Curtis-Braithwaite's life appeared to be one of "burying his head in the sand".

She said: "At the time, he was addicted to cannabis. It is unattractive that he went on holiday using funds from his mother's partner.

But the money was mainly for paying off debts and other general living expenses.

"He is very remorseful and has endeavoured to turn his life around since then."

Judge Emma Peters sentenced Curtis-Braithwaite to 21 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and 240 hours of unpaid work.

The father-of-two must also complete up to 25 Rehabilitation Activity (RA) days.

Addressing Curtis-Braithwaite, Judge Peters said: "What you did was cruel, sustained, dishonest and it was greedy.

"But I appreciate you were in a different place in your life than you are now."

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