A newlywed couple were left devastated to discover their best man had spent more than £3,000 on their credit card just days after getting married.
Aaron Paget, 44, made fraudulent payments on his friends’ NatWest card in the weeks before and after the 2021 big day.
He spent the money on trainers, a jet wash and various tools after taking the card from Michael and Nikki Tattersall’s kitchen cupboard at their home in Gosport, Hampshire.
Newlywed Michael, a retired HGV driver, had been rushed to Queen Alexander Hospital, Portsmouth, five days before his wedding with heart failure.
During this time, Paget regularly went with Nikki Tattersall, 51, who suffers from agoraphobia, to visit her future husband.
Michael and Nikki Tattersall were married and were heartbroken to discover that their best man, Aaron Paget, had stolen £3k from their credit card (pictured, the couple on their wedding day in 2021).
Aaron Paget (right) was found guilty of one count of fraud by false representation at Portsmouth Crown Court. Michael and Nikki Tattersall (left) pictured outside the court after the case
After the visit on June 29, Nikki and Paget returned, where he walked her into the house.
Nikki, who was looking after Mick’s wallet while he was unwell, placed it in a kitchen cupboard for safekeeping before “going upstairs”.
She didn’t realize Paget had withdrawn the card until the bank statement arrived in the mail weeks later.
After taking the card, Paget spent £3,233.80 over 11 days, in various stores using contactless payments and cash withdrawals.
Michael and Nikki, who is their full-time caregiver, noticed the theft when the credit card statement was sent to the home on July 16, 2021.
The couple confronted Paget the same day, but claim he denied seeing the credit card.
Aaron Paget was found guilty of one count of fraud by false representation at Portsmouth Crown Court on October 6 last year and sentenced to 28 months in prison.
Michael, from Gosport, Hampshire, said: ‘I didn’t expect my best man to betray my trust. We treat him like a family. He infiltrated our lives and stole from us.
“It was difficult to recover from the huge financial loss while fighting for my life in the hospital.”
Michael and Nikki got engaged in December 2020 after meeting on a dating site in 2016.
They planned their small wedding, which cost £3k, to take place in July 2021.
Just a month earlier, in June 2021, Michael asked his best friend, Paget, a mechanic, to be his best man.
During this time, Michael was in and out of Queen Alexander Hospital after being diagnosed with heart failure in February 2020.
Nikki said: ‘They were very close. Aaron had become part of the family after Michael’s diagnosis.
‘They had been friends for over two years. Michael even bought him a £400 suit and £180 shoes for the big day so they could match.’
Despite their close connection, the fraud began after Paget took the NatWest debit card on June 10, just 30 days before the wedding.
Among the fraudulent transactions were cash withdrawals worth £250 and several large purchases at stores including Asda, Tesco and a Spar supermarket.
Nikki said: ‘It was a huge help. I suffer from agoraphobia and he was very understanding. I thought he loved us.
Despite the groom’s poor health, his big day went “smoothly.”
They married in front of 50 guests at Godsball Fareham Registry Office, Hampshire, on July 10, 2021.
Paget was a “big part” of the day, being a close family friend who “everyone trusted.”
Michael Tattersall’s friend Aaron Paget spent £3,233.80 on his friend’s credit card without permission (pictured Mr Tattersall with his wife Nikki)
Aaron Paget (pictured, outside court) was found guilty of one count of fraud by false representation and sentenced to 28 months in prison.
The newlywed couple had planned to use their NatWest credit card savings to pay for a honeymoon to the Maldives, which they hoped to book shortly after the wedding.
Nikki said: ‘I really wanted to relax. Mick had been very unwell so we just wanted to relax. A nice spa to relieve stress after the wedding.’
They realized something was wrong when the credit card statement arrived and Mick quickly became suspicious of Paget.
Michael said: ‘Aaron had helped my wife with many daily tasks due to her condition.
“I had a lot of confidence in him, all of this is shocking.”
The couple first became aware of a problem on July 16, 2021, when Michael’s card was declined.
Michael reported the problem to the police, who called Paget for an interview.
Portsmouth Police were initially unable to help, but Nikki and Michael appealed the case to Hampshire Police in August 2021.
They agreed to investigate and after 18 months were able to get a trial.
Nikki said: ‘I’m delighted. We have been fighting for justice for a long time. I trusted him and he used us completely.