A serial fraudster who claimed his criminal activity was triggered by PTSD resulting from a four-week kidnap ordeal has been sentenced for stealing £15,000 from a used car retailer.

David Paterson, of Poulton le Flyde, Lancashire, brokered the sale of four vehicles to a remarketing provider as part of a business relationship struck-up with the North Yorkshire retailer but never handed over the proceeds, the York Press reported.

He was later tracked down by police on the Isle of Wight and pleaded guilty to theft on the basis he had only stolen £15,000 and had originally not intended to steal the money.

In a hearing at York Crown Court it emerged that the 57-year-old had more than a decade of fraud convictions and that police had linked 10 different aliases to him.

But Paterson claimed to a psychiatrist and through his barrister Danielle Graham that his dishonest behaviour, which started in 2008, was the result of post-traumatic stress disorder after he had been kidnapped and held hostage for four weeks in an ordeal which resulted in crooks taking £250,000 from his bank account.

After adjourning the case to hear more evidence of the claims the Recorder of York, Judge Sean Morris, handed Paterson a 12-month prison sentence suspended for 12 months on condition that he completes 15 days of rehabilitative activities and 250 hours’ unpaid work.

The car retailer impacted by Paterson’s latest fraud conviction was unnamed in a report published by the York Press but told York Crown Court that the scam had affected his cash flow and adversely affected his business at a crucial stage of its development.

He added that he was also much more wary of people wanting to form a business relationship with him.

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