A “friend” who used his frequent visits to a visually impaired man to plunder the victim’s bank account has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Arron Bairstow, 24, repeatedly stole the victim’s bank card when he called on him, and used it at a nearby cash machine to withdraw money and once to buy items at a convenience store.

Each time he returned to the victim’s home and put back the card from where he had taken it, said Kelly Clarke, prosecuting.

When the victim realised what Bairstow was doing and how many times he had done it, he was “really angry,” said the barrister.

In a personal statement, the victim said: “I was really shocked someone I thought was my mate had taken advantage of me in that way.”

He said he had helped Bairstow in the past when the 24-year-old had told him he and his mother were struggling to meet their bills.

The victim also said after police became involved, he had been threatened by Bairstow’s friends as he walked around Malton and Bairstow had told him people in the town “knew about the case”.

Bairstow, of Birch Avenue, Malton, pleaded guilty to 12 charges of theft and 12 of fraud by falsely representing that he was authorised to use the bank card.

The Recorder of York, Judge Sean Morris, gave him six months to repay the money.

When Bairstow returned to York Crown Court, Ms Clarke said Bairstow had repaid all the money, plus slightly under £10 extra. When the victim had pointed that out, Bairstow said: “Get a pint on me, no hard feelings”.

“You have repaid you have stolen in full and have apologised,” the judge told Bairstow. “You are lucky (the victim) was so forgiving.”

He made Bairstow subject to a six-month prison sentence suspended for 12 months and ordered Bairstow to pay the victim £25 every month directly for 12 months to compensate him for the hurt he had caused him.

Ms Clarke said in total Bairstow had stolen £1,830.11, carrying out his crimes between October 2 and November 7, 2022. He had told police following his arrest he had been in a “bad state due to alcohol and drug problems”.

For Bairstow, Eleanor Durdy said he was genuinely remorseful. He had not taken drugs since Christmas last year and had reduced his alcohol intake.

He now only drank socially on a Saturday when out with friends. He had also turned his life around. He had got a job where he was working hard and he was expecting to become a father soon.