A MAN stole his grandparents' identity and ran up debt worth tens of thousands of pounds to fund his gambling addiction, a court was told.

Jamie Paul Austin, 26, of Bryn Road, Weymouth, admitted 10 charges of fraud and false representation, two wallet thefts and two charges of intercepting post belonging to the Royal Mail without lawful excuse.

He also asked for another 104 similar offences to be taken into consideration when he appeared before Weymouth magistrates.

Simon Jones, prosecuting, said the fraud and false representations involved Austin's grandparents' identity and an aggravating feature was that it was a breach of family trust. But Ted Bament, mitigating, said the grandparents, who were in court, were standing by Austin and still wanted him to have a home with them.

Mr Jones said the grandparents, Fay and Victor Moisan, had brought Austin up from a young age and had treated him like their own son.

The court heard Austin was first arrested in April this year on unrelated matters.

Mr Jones said police had cause to search the address Austin lived at with his grandparents and found a safe in Austin's bedroom containing a mass of documents connected to the use of fraud.

The documents were in his grandparents' names and included bank statements and colour photocopies of their passports.

Mr Jones said a mass of unopened mail was also located addressed to the grandparents.

He added: "This is a man in substantial financial debt who forged documents in respect of his grandparents and opened bank accounts in their name using the photocopied passports.

"He intercepted post in his grandparents' name because he didn't want them to find out about the accounts."

The court heard Austin used the money to pay off gambling debts.

Austin also used the accounts to buy an Orange mobile phone and sporting equipment.

Mr Jones said Austin wrote more than 200 cheques worth up to £15,000 to a number of companies including Tesco, Sainsbury's and South West Trains, which he knew would bounce as he had insufficient funds.

Austin's bank account transactions fraudulently spent up to £10,000.

He made cash point withdrawals of around £1,000 and another £1,000 was obtained through further deception.

Mr Jones said Austin stole two wallets, the first belonging to Andrew Stalker who had reported it stolen several years ago.

He said Austin used Mr Stalker's debit card to order a laptop and other goods off the internet and a receipt was found in his bedroom.

The other wallet belonged to Richard Hodges and was reported stolen in late 2007.

Magistrates rejected jurisdiction and committed the case to crown court.

Austin was released on conditional bail with requirements to include a condition of residence at his home in Bryn Road, reporting to the police station twice a week and not to enter any bookmakers shop.

He was ordered to attend Dorchester Crown Court on August 8 for sentencing.