Ashford window cleaner Keith Robinson uses friend's bank card to fund night out
by Paul Hooper
Crafty Keith Robinson not only polished windows, he
also took things to the cleaners... including his best
The devious window cleaner stole pal Claire Archer's bank card
and then helped himself to her cash and bought pizzas, hotel rooms
and a watch.
Robinson, 27, also had the nerve to go out to a club
with the university student and tip a friend, who offered them a
Ms Archer later told police she thought the
father-of-two was being very generous, especially as he went on to
buy everyone drinks at the club – not realising he was using HER
Robinson, of Jillian Way, Ashford, admitted charges of theft and
fraud on the day he was due to stand trial at Canterbury Crown
Court for the £1,000 rip-off.
But despite it being a breach of trust he escaped with a
community order to do 120 hours of unpaid work.
And a curfew order, which puts him under partial house arrest
for the next four months, is to be lifted for a week - so he can go
on holiday with the mother of one of his children.
Ms Archer, now a teacher in West Sussex, sat in the public
gallery to hear how her ex-friend had tricked her for a month in
February to March last year.
Prosecutor Bridget Todd told how the pair had been friends
for several years and he visited her home regularly.
But she said sneaky Robinson used trips to the supermarket to
obtain her bank pin number before taking her card.
He then withdrew £600 cash and paid for another
£400 of goods using the stolen card.
It was only when Ms Archer lost her cards and decided to check
if her grant had been paid into her account that she discovered the
Robinson had taken cash out of her account and then used the
bank card to order food, pay for four stays at hotels and buy a
"He accepts that what he did was foolish and he took advantage of someone who was trying to help him..." – Dan Pawson-Pounds, defending
But when police began investigating, they discovered he had
ordered pizza to be delivered to his house even though he paid with
Ms Archer's card.
More than £1,000 in cash and goods disappeared during Robinson's
month-long thieving – including a trip to a local club.
Ms Todd added: "They went out clubbing and before they left, she
had put her bank debit card inside her purse. He attended her house
and stayed in her room while she was getting ready, but then made
an excuse to go out.
"He returned and when they were about to go offered £50 to her
sister's boyfriend who was giving them a lift, which she thought
was rather generous. He was also very generous in the club buying
drinks for everybody."
On another occasion he turned up and she made him a cup of tea
leaving her bank card on her bed. Again he made an excuse and
Ms Archer sent him a text saying: "Not even drinking your tea?"
– but she did not realise he had again used the card to get himself
Ms Todd said two-faced thief even paid back part of a £75 loan
to his friend using cash he had stolen from her account.
The window cleaner was arrested and tried to smear his friend –
claiming he took the money out with her card "because she made
me do everything for her".
He said that during their five-year friendship there had been an
"on-off relationship" between the two.
"He said they were close friends but he felt she wanted more of
a commitment which he was unable to give to her. He said she did
not understand that he had two children which he had to see," added
Robinson also tried to claim Ms Archer knew about the
purchases, including the watch. He told police: "She ordered it on
line because my (bank) card wouldn't do it."
But when police asked where it was, he answered: "On my mate's
Dan Pawson-Pounds, defending, said: "He took advantage of Ms
Archer's sympathy during a period when he was having difficulties
seeing his two children. He accepts that what he did was foolish
and he took advantage of someone who was trying to help him."
He said the £50-a-week window washer was now back with the
mother of one of his children and were planning to have a family
holiday in April.
The judge, Recorder Vincent Moran QC said Robinson had "tricked"
his friend "in a particularly devious way".
Robinson was ordered to pay £100 compensation after the judge
heard the bank had repaid most of the stolen money.
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