A MAN who illegally purchased items from the Homebase store in Cainscross appeared at Stroud Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Ellis Thompson, aged 39, of High Bridge, Somerset, admitted five counts of fraud - one of which occurred in Stroud.

He appeared before magistrates via video link from prison in Birmingham.

On October 12, 2011, Thompson opened a Homebase store card at the Stroud branch using a bank statement and electricity bill bearing a different name, the court heard.

He used the card to purchase goods worth £2,181.09 from the store.

Magistrates heard Thompson was arrested that day at the Tesco store in Brockworth when he tried to purchase £1,900 of electrical goods on a finance agreement.

A search was conducted on his vehicle and all goods from Homebase were recovered.

That week, Thompson had also illegally purchased clothes from a store in Cardiff and goods from Harvey Nichols in Bristol, the court heard.

In his defence, the court heard that Thompson owed a drug debt of more than £2,000.

Last year had been a difficult one financially for him, he had experienced suicidal thoughts and began using cocaine, the bench was told.

Thompson was sentenced to six weeks in jail suspended for 12 months.

He must also pay £1,050 compensation to Harvey Nichols for items not recovered and must complete 150 hours of unpaid work