AN EMBITTERED man used his ex-wife’s name to fraudulently apply for store credit and used it to buy around £1,000 of tools.

Nicholas Wright, who claimed his former partner had taken his tools in the separation, was given credit at JD Williams and Argos.

He was only found out when his ex-wife discovered her credit score had plummeted and that the fraud had affected her own application for finance on a household item, Swindon magistrates heard on Tuesday,

The trainee nurse had to take time out of her studies to deal with the issue.

Wright was fined by magistrates, who acknowledged the distress felt by the victim.

Prosecutor Keith Ballinger told the court a number of applications for credit were made in the victim’s name, and that when she checked her account in October last year, one had been accepted by JD Williams.

“Her credit score had dropped massively,” he said.

A month later, she checked again and saw another successful application for credit at Argos.

 Luke Jameson, defending, said the 49-year-old applied for a total of £1,500 credit and used between £600 and £1,000.

“Essentially, the lady is his ex-wife, they began separating in May that year, the divorce in September.

“The issue he had was that she took a number of his tools. He took out a store card at Argos and bought a number of tools.

“He is diagnosed with anxiety and depression. In the context, it was a one-off offence, a particularly bad divorce and disagreement over belongings.”

Mr Ballinger highlighted Wright’s previous conviction for fraud, in 2002.

Sentencing, chairman of the bench, Natalie O’Connell, said: “We listened to the details of the offence and the victim impact statement, which talked about the distress that had been caused, and offset that against the circumstances and how you felt.”

Wright, of Dogridge in Purton, was fined £250 after pleading guilty to three counts of fraud by false representation at Swindon Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

He must also pay £85 in costs and a victim surcharge of £34.