Incorrect charges ‘a dog’s breakfast’
A Geraldton magistrate criticised police in court this week after a man’s multiple fraud offences were charged incorrectly.
Ethan Gilbert appeared in Geraldton Magistrate’s Court on Monday, where he pleaded guilty to nine charges, including three counts of fraud by deceit.
The court was told on May 20, Gilbert used a stolen credit card in Leonora to buy three cartons of Emu Export, three bottles of Jim Beam and a bottle of port, with a total value of $540.
Despite defence counsel Xavier Sellathambu confirming his client was in possession of a stolen credit card, the 23-year-old was not charged with stealing.
Magistrate Donna Webb also pointed out Gilbert was not charged for each individual use of the card.
“Can I go and find a convenient wall to bang my head against because this is a dog’s breakfast?” she said.
“These amounts over $100 — each time he waves the card (to pay) it’s a separate act of fraud . . . otherwise it’s suggesting he has the PIN number.
“He could have pleaded not guilty as there’s no stealing of the card, and what’s to say the person didn’t give the card to him?”
The court was told on May 10 Gilbert unlawfully damaged a doorbell, valued at $200, at a
property in Leonora. On June 9 he was found with one bullet in his possession and on July 17 he breached his bail by failing to turn up at Leonora Magistrate’s Court.
Gilbert breached bail again when he did not appear in Geraldton Magistrate’s Court on October 25. On November 4, Gilbert was charged with possession of cannabis and disorderly behaviour in public.
Ms Webb granted Gilbert bail with a $1000 personal undertaking and $1000 surety.
He will reappear in the same court later this month.