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Ashford window cleaner Keith Robinson uses friend's bank card to fund night out

Credit card
Credit card

Crafty Keith Robinson not only polished windows, he also took things to the cleaners... including his best friend.

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 lift, £50.

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 stolen cash.

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 unauthorised withdrawals.

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 watch.

"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 left.

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 more cash.

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.

Scales of justice
Scales of justice

"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 Ms Todd.

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 wrist."

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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