A man going through a “bitter divorce” ran up a £5,000 bill with his new girlfriend after fraudulently acquiring a credit card under his former wife’s name.

Robert Kent and girlfriend Lydia - who married after the offences – splashed out on luxuries including meals out, computer games, a laptop, and sunglasses during a two-day spending spree on the card.

The couple, of Homefield Road, Bushey, even tried to cover their tracks after many of the transactions were carried out in Dorset, where Robert Kent knew his ex-wife Tracey was on holiday with her new boyfriend, a court heard.

Robert Kent, 33 and Lydia Kent, 31, initially denied the offences, before pleading guilty to fraud.

Helen Lewer, prosecuting said, told St Albans Crown Court on Friday: “These offences arise from the break up of Mr Robert Kent and his first wife Tracey Kent.

“They had been together for ten years, but separated in August, 2008.

“Two months later Mr Kent got an Egg credit card with a limit of £12,500 using personal details from his first wife, including her mother’s maiden name.”

A bill of £5,246.15 was racked up in two days, which is still outstanding and Mr Kent has been ordered to pay back.

Miss Lewer said: “Lydia Kent called the Egg bank to reset the password so that the spree of spending could continue, before the card was declined in a shoe shop in Dorset.”

After Lydia Kent, formerly Sweedy, reset the password a further ten transactions took place before the card was declined again.

Miss Lewer said: “A further aggravating factor was the fact they went to Dorset to try and legitimise the use of the card because that was the place Tracey Kent and her boyfriend were holidaying.”

Businessman Robert Kent was of previous good character and Lydia Kent had never been in trouble before.

Benjamin Hargreaves, defending, said Robert Kent took full responsibility for the offences.

He said Kent had told Lydia what to say when talking to the bank when the card had been cancelled and was ashamed of his behaviour.

Mother-of-two Lydia Kent, who works part time in a nursery, thought there was an “arrangement” that enabled the card to be used and it did not occur to her she was doing anything wrong.

Robert Kent received a 16-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months and must do 150 hours unpaid work.

Lydia Kent was ordered to do 100 hours unpaid work.

Judge Martin Griffith said: “You [Robert Kent] took advantage of a bitter divorce to exact some sort of revenge.

“I have no doubt that when you went to Dorset it was not after putting a pin in a map.

“You decided to go there because your ex-wife was there and so there was an element of planning about this.

“It was fraudulent from the outset and you have brought the woman sitting next to you, your new wife, into this act.

“This clearly crosses the custody threshold, but locking you up straight away would waste resources and have a catastrophic effect on your new family.”