AN INTERNET fraudster duped two eBay sellers by using hacked accounts to pay for goods with money belonging to someone else, a court heard.

Harun Hussain bought a £288 iPad and a £165 Nintendo DS hand-held games console fraudulently, but was arrested by police after they found a mobile phone at his home which had been used to call the sellers.

Joleyn Perks, prosecuting at Teesside Crown Court, said Hussain was one of a number of individuals across the Tees Valley who were linked to a series of eBay and PayPal frauds - PayPal being a method by which payments are made via the internet.

They disguised themselves as legitimate eBay users and paid for goods using hacked PayPal accounts. Those who were duped only realised when they were contacted by PayPal to say the payment had been recalled by the owner of the PayPal account as they had not authorised it.

However, the goods had already been sold.

Hussain collected both items in person and was later formally identified by the sellers when he was included in an ID parade.

The 22-year-old defendant, of Normanby Road, Middlesbrough, admitted two counts of fraud in December 2011.

Rachel Dyson, mitigating said Hussain did not take the money from the PayPal accounts, but effectively acted as a courier, picking up items which had been bought.

Ms Dyson said Hussain, who had a partner and young child, was not particularly streetwise. However he did harbour hopes of starting up his own legitimate business.

Judge Peter Bowers said he regarded Hussain as an "important cog" in the scam. He gave him a four-month jail sentence, suspended for 12 months and ordered him to do 150 hours unpaid work.

He will also pay back the money stolen.

The judge told him: "You need to sort your life out and look after your family."