Teen pleads guilty to cheque fraud
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.