In­cor­rect charges ‘a dog’s break­fast’

Geraldton Guardian - - COURTS - Francesca Mann

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.

Pic­ture: Gavin Box

Ger­ald­ton Court­house.

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