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Zimbo in UK jailed over stolen Boots, Argos and Co-op gift cards

William Johnson, 41, is a Zimbabwean national and now faces potential deportation

By Tom Hitchenor | Northants Live |

A Corby (UK) man has been jailed over stolen Boots, Argos, and Co-op gift cards worth thousands of pounds. William Johnson, 41, is a Zimbabwean national and now faces potential deportation.

He appeared at Northampton Crown Court on the 10th of June after being stopped by police on November 25, 2019 at approximately 7.30pm. Northamptonshire Police had spotted the BMW being driven erratically.

Johnson, of Stuart Road, was arrested for driving offences before the officer noticed a large quantity of £10 gift vouchers in the glove box.

Ben Gow, prosecuting, said: “In fact there were £990 of Co-op vouchers and £300 of Boots vouchers. There was also a wallet containing a large number of gift cards.

“There were also Argos and Halfords cards along with student gift cards yet to be activated. The officers found £103 in the boot of vouchers and several hundred pounds worth of vouchers in envelopes.

“We can’t put a total value on it and a search of his home address found 12 driving licences and they were all in different names.”

Johnson has 29 previous convictions including fraud and shoplifting. The court heard he is an asylum seeker in this country and his application is pending.

The court heard he was “worried a custodial sentence of three months or more” would mean the Home Office would enforce automatic deportation. Johnson is also awaiting sentence at Westminster Magistrates’ Court for a separate matter, also in relation to fraud.

Judge Rebecca Crane, sentencing, said: “In the evening, you were stopped driving a BMW due to the nature of the driving and gave false details. You’re arrested for the driving offences.

“A large number of gift vouchers and gift cards were found. They relate to a number of different stores and include the Co-op and Boots.

“The prosecution hasn’t been able to put a total value on them but it’s in the thousands. Your home address was searched and 12 driver’s licences were found in various names.”

Johnson was sentenced to 12 months in custody after being convicted in relation to two counts of fraud.