A PERSONAL trainer who claimed a porn addiction drove him to steal £22,000 from a neighbour and spend the money on prostitutes and escorts has been jailed.
Ian Young, 37, of Kirkby Overblow, was sentenced to two and a half years in prison at York Crown Court - sitting at Harrogate Magistrates Court last Friday - after pleading guilty to two charges of theft at an earlier hearing.
He stole a total of £22,000 from neighbour Monique Purdy after taking credit and debit cards from her house when Ms Purdy gave him a spare key so he could feed her cat while she was away from home.
Young used the stolen cards to make 44 withdrawals of £500 from her accounts at cash points around Harrogate, Otley and Leeds over three months from November last year. He was arrested on February 26 this year after being caught on CCTV at one of the cashpoints.
Prosecuting, Mr Campbell said that Ms Purdy lived opposite Young in Kirkby Overblow and had known him for eight years. She had given him a key to her house on various occasions throughout that time, but had taken it back in September 2010 after being warned by another neighbour that Young appeared to be spending more time in her house than feeding the cat would make necessary.
However, Young had used the key to steal several credit and debit cards from a drawer in Ms Purdy’s bedroom, and to take their PIN numbers from a safe in the cellar.
In a police interview on April 4, Young had claimed to have been in a relationship with Ms Purdy, and to have stolen the cards when the relationship hit a rocky patch.
He claimed that Ms Purdy had taken his DVDs and he had then spent the stolen money on prostitutes and escorts and could not stop himself, Mr Campbell added.
Sentencing Young on Friday, July 22, Recorder Deborah Sherwin said: “You were somebody that Ms Purdy trusted. You were somebody that she regarded as a friend and you had a key to her home. It is quite clear that there was a breach of trust when you entered into her home and took those cards.
“This is a serious case and there was a significant breach of trust.”
However, Recorder Sherwin said that testimonials showed other people found Young to be “nothing other than reliable and helpful”.
“It is perhaps something of a mystery as to why you have acted in this way,” she added.
As well as a two-and-a-half year jail term, Recorder Sherwin handed Young a five-year restraining order banning him from entering the parish of Kirkby Overblow.
A third charge against him of causing Ms Purdy harassment, alarm or distress was dropped.