Teen pleads guilty to cheque fraud

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - News - Karen Hunt

A BRIDGETOWN woman last week pleaded guilty in Bridgetown Mag­is­trates Court to de­fraud­ing a rel­a­tive of thou­sands of dol­lars.

Now aged 18, the woman was 17 and liv­ing in Perth in Fe­bru­ary with her grand­mother when she forged the older woman’s sig­na­ture on two cheques, the court heard.

The cheques, worth $13,000, were de­posited into a bank ac­count be­long­ing to the girl’s part­ner who was also charged with fraud.

The lawyer rep­re­sent­ing the cou­ple said it ap­peared the girl could be en­ti­tled to money from a trust af­ter the death of her fa­ther.

“Is there money there that she’s en­ti­tled to and she’s not get­ting for some rea­son,” he asked.

He said the grand­mother had pre­vi­ously given the girl money.

The girl had no record, pleaded guilty, and was look­ing for work and will­ing to re­pay the money, which she had used to set up a home with her part­ner.

Her part­ner, who also had no prior con­vic­tions and was work­ing in the South West, was also re­morse­ful and will­ing to re­pay the money, the lawyer said. In sen­tenc­ing, Mag­is­trate Mark Milling­ton noted the woman was a girl at the time of the of­fence and com­mented on the com­plex­ity of the case.

Mag­is­trate Milling­ton re­marked on the some­times dif­fi­cult na­ture of family re­la­tion­ships but de­scribed the of­fence as a se­ri­ous one com­mit­ted against an el­derly rel­a­tive.

“This is a sig­nif­i­cant breach of trust in my view,” he said.

He sen­tenced the 18-year-old to com­plete a com­mu­nity work or­der and to re­pay $8000.

Her part­ner was or­dered to re­pay $5000 and to pay a $5000 fine.

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