'Sex addict' in credit card fraud spree

'Sex addict' in credit card fraud spree

A man addicted to visiting male and female prostitutes is accused of committing credit card fraud across NI to fund his habit.

James McMulkin allegedly conned shops and businesses into handing over goods worth up to £25,000, the High Court heard on Friday.

During a bail hearing, it was alleged the 63-year-old tried to buy a £520 chainsaw from a shop in Fivemiletown, Co Tyrone, using the number for a debit card which was written down on a piece of paper.

In another incident, tyres worth £384 were bought from a garage in Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh, using the number for a card owned by a woman in Britian.

McMulkin, with an address at HMP Maghaberry, faces 26 charges of fraud by false representation and a further four counts of attempted fraud at locations across Northern Ireland.

Garda also want to question the accused about a number of incidents in the Republic.

Prosecution lawyer Conor Maguire said he believed McMulkin is selling goods to criminals and using the money to visit sex workers.

"That is a sex addiction in relation to male and female prostitutes," Mr Maguire added.

The defendant was seeking bail to stay at a Sisters of Mercy hostel in Armagh.

But Mr Maguire said it was too close to the locations of some of the alleged offences.

"If it is the case that he has an addiction he will have to fight that addiction.

"That can only be done by obtaining money by nefarious means," said Mr Maguire.

A defence barrister argued that the nuns who run the hostel would ensure strict bail conditions were enforced.

Stressing how the accused was finding it tough in custody, the lawyer also submitted: "He would further maintain that he has been the dupe of third parties in these offences."

But citing the risk of further offences and fears that McMulkin may not turn up for trial, Mr Justice Maguire ruled that bail should be refused.

© UTV

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