A MAN who committed a raft of offences including fraud, theft, burglary and drink-driving has been told that prison is “inevitable.”

Colin Anthony Quinn appeared at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court this week where he faced a total of 16 charges.

The court heard that the 39-year-old, who shouted at the prosecutor during the hearing, preyed on an elderly man with dementia before going on a spending spree with his bank card.

Alan Davies, prosecuting, said: “Perhaps the most serious of the offences relates to May 15 this year when the defendant attended the home of [an elderly man] and offered to carry out odd jobs for him for payment.

“The victim gave the defendant his bank card to withdraw cash and buy materials, however he used the card at several locations in excess of the amount agreed.”

A statement from the victim’s grandson was read out during the hearing which said: “My grandfather suffers from dementia, I believe he was preyed on because he is vulnerable.

“As well as the money missing from his bank account, there was also cash missing from his wallet to the tune of £400.”

Mr Davies added: "The first offence dates back to November 27 last year on the A688 at Tursdale where the defendant was spotted by police driving a Ford Transit. He was spoken to by police who suspected he was under the influence of drugs, he failed a road-side drug test and a sample of blood later showed he had cocaine and morphine in his system over the legal limit.

“On April 17 this year [the complainant] parked his car outside his house and woke to mobile phone notifications informing him that his bank card had been used at Chilton Filling Station between 10.30pm and midnight.

“He remembers leaving his wallet in his car and when he checked he found all four of his car windows open and his wallet missing."

In total, Quinn pleaded guilty to seven counts of fraud by mis-representation, one count of dwelling burglary with intent to steal, two counts of theft and one count of sending threatening messages.

He also entered guilty pleas for two counts of driving whilst over the legal drug-drive limit, one count of failing to comply with a community order and two counts of vehicle interference.

Sam Brewster, mitigating, said Covid-19 had a part to play in Quinn's crimes. He said: "Prior to Covid coming around he was living with his partner and was relatively settled.

"However social services have become concerned about his drug use with children in the house and he has ended up leaving the address.

"This has caused him to relapse into fairly significant heroin use and it's against that background that all of these offences have been committed.

"He is realistic and he has been told that prison is inevitable."

Quinn, of Highland Terrace, Ferryhill, was remanded into police custody and will appear at Durham Crown Court for sentencing on a date to be determined.