SOUTHEND United striker Nile Ranger has been jailed for eight months for an online banking fraud after a woman was fleeced out of more than £2,000.

The 25-year-old, who lives in Charlton Avenue, Westcliff, appeared at Wood Green Crown Court for sentence yesterday afternoon after he previously admitted conspiracy to defraud.

Ranger pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud - namely that on February 18, 2015 he conspired with persons unknown to defraud Diane Bloss, by obtaining her personal online banking details and transferring by way of an online transaction £2,090 from an HSBC account to a Santander account.

He previously pleaded not guilty to a second count of money laundering, with prosecutor Catherine Rabaiotti telling the court the charge will lie on file

Ranger appeared alongside Aseany Duncan, 19, of Elmore Road, Enfield, North London, who admitted possession of articles for use in fraud, conspiracy to defraud and conspiracy to be concerned in the use or control of criminal property.

Judge Peter Ader sentenced Ranger to eight months in prison and ordered him to pay a £100 victim surcharge and £1,200 prosecution costs.

Duncan was also sent to a young offenders’ institution for eight months because of his age.

No order was made for him to pay prosecution costs.

Ranger, who has been dogged by controversy throughout his career, joined Blues in July 2016 and scored eight goals in 28 goals last season as the club just missed out on a place in the play-offs by a single point.

The striker missed four games in January after a serious breach of club discipline.

Ranger’s career in professional football has certainly been eventful.

He has had spells with a number of clubs, including Newcastle and Sheffield Wednesday, but his career hit an all-time low during his time with Blackpool which culminated in him being away from the professional ranks for two years.

However, he was given another chance when he joined Blues during pre-season and proved a valuable addition to the squad.