Baby attacker stole card details

By Court Reporter

A Wanganui man found guilty of seriously injuring his grandson was also caught out playing the field when he stole credit card details from a woman he met online to pay for an airline flight to bring another woman friend to the city.

Lex Arnold Sinclair, 47, pleaded guilty in the Wanganui District Court to one charge of fraudulently using a document to obtain a pecuniary advantage.

He was convicted and discharged on that charge by Judge Dugald Matheson. He is due to be sentenced in the Palmerston North District Court on August 29 for causing grievous bodily harm and neglecting a child by failing to seek medical attention.

A jury found that Sinclair assaulted his 11-month-old grandson at an Opunake address in 2010, which resulted in the boy suffering a fractured skull, broken thigh bone and two broken ankles.

The baby was also left blind in one eye.

In the Wanganui District Court yesterday, Sinclair's counsel, Stephen Ross, told Judge Matheson that Sinclair was facing a possible 10-year jail term.

On the most recent charges, Sinclair took the credit card details of an Auckland woman he met through internet dating while she slept.

The pair had met online and exchanged details in October 2011.

In March this year they met for the first time when she visited Sinclair and stayed at his Wanganui home.

One evening when the woman went to bed early, Sinclair sought out her wallet in the lounge and recorded her credit card details.

She returned home from her stay none the wiser, until her bank called a few days later to say her card was overdrawn by $342, from her last purchase - an Air New Zealand flight.

Knowing she did not make the purchase, she cancelled the card and called Sinclair, who admitted using her card and told her he would pay her back. She went to the police.

Sinclair told authorities he had used the card to purchase a flight for another female friend to visit him from Auckland. He said the card's owner had given him her details in case of an emergency.

Mr Ross told the court Sinclair maintained he had been given the card details, but accepted it was not to fly in another woman.

Sinclair remains in custody awaiting next week's sentencing.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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