Guilty of Face­book rip- offs Ice ad­dict jailed for sale scam

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - LUCY SMITH lucy. smith@ news. com. au

A MAN who ad­ver­tised a car fridge on Face­book, then deleted his page af­ter two men had sent him $ 1000, has been jailed for fraud.

Brendan John Bland, 30, made a Face­book pro­file un­der the fake name John Peter­son but was caught be­cause he gave his per­sonal bank de­tails to the un­sus­pect­ing buy­ers.

Bland pleaded guilty in Townsville Mag­is­trates Court yes­ter­day to two counts of fraud and one charge of breach­ing a pro­ba­tion or­der.

Pros­e­cu­tor Dar­ryn Cas­son told the court that, on May 7 this year, a Kir­wan man saw an En­gel car fridge posted to John Peter­son’s page.

“The vic­tim has agreed to pur­chase the car fridge via con­ver­sa­tion on Face­book and the seller has pro­vided his bank ac­count de­tails,” he said.

“The vic­tim trans­ferred $ 1000 into the bank ac­count de­tails pro­vided by the seller.

“Ar­range­ments were made for the vic­tim to col­lect the car fridge, af­ter which the seller no longer re­turned ( mes­sages).”

The vic­tim saw that Bland’s fraud­u­lent Face­book page was deleted soon af­ter and con­tacted po­lice.

Sun­corp Bank re­vealed the owner of the bank ac­count to po­lice and Bland was ar­rested.

win­ner Ju­dah Kelly, who was raised in Bowen, has suf­fered a sec­ond week slump on the ARIA charts.

Kelly’s sin­gle Count On Me de­buted at No. 19 last week — the high­est- chart­ing Voice win­ner’s sin­gle in four years.

How­ever this week Count on Me sank to No. 53 with just 3506 sales — it sold 7980 copies in its first week of re­lease.

Bland had scammed an­other man in the ex­act same way a week prior, re­ceiv­ing $ 1000 on April 30.

“He does have pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions for this type of of­fend­ing,” Mr Cas­son told the court. “It was an am­a­teur­ish at­tempt, it wasn’t a so­phis­ti­cated op­er­a­tion, it was one where he was al­ways go­ing to be caught.”

Mr Cas­son said Bland re­fused to be in­ter­viewed by po­lice.

Bland was re­leased on pa­role on De­cem­ber 6 last year, and this was can­celled in April.

He was un­law­fully at large at the time of the Face­book frauds.

De­fence so­lic­i­tor Phil Ren­nick said Bland was a min­ing plant op­er­a­tor un­til 2015, when an ice ad­dic­tion turned his world “up­side down”.

“He’s been on a merry- go- round for the last two years, where he’s had pe­ri­ods of be­ing clean, pe­ri­ods, like at the time of this of­fend­ing, where he was ad­dicted to the drug and us­ing it quite heav­ily,” he said.

“It was a sim­ple money grab to fuel his ad­dic­tion, that’s the only ex­pla­na­tion for his con­duct.”

Mag­is­trate Scott Lux­ton sen­tenced Bland to two months in jail, which will be sus­pended and re­main op­er­a­tional for two years.

Bland is now in cus­tody serv­ing a jail term for pre­vi­ous of­fences, due to ex­pire on Au­gust 15.

He was or­dered to pay the vic­tims $ 2000 in resti­tu­tion but is not re­quired to start pay­ing it back un­til his re­lease from jail.

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