Jailed for us­ing fake let­ter to avoid fine

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS - By Ge­off Egan

TRY­ING to avoid a $450 fine has cost a man his free­dom.

In March 2014, Ja­son Wil­liam Hey was charged with il­le­gally us­ing a boat from the Day­dream Is­land re­sort in the Whit­sun­day Is­lands.

Hey, 29, ap­proached a friend who worked for the re­sort, Sa­man­tha Few­ings to ask if she could help him get the charge dis­missed.

On Thurs­day the Bris­bane Dis­trict Court heard Few­ings agreed and tracked down a Day­dream Is­land so­cial club let­ter­head and wrote a let­ter claim­ing Hey had per­mis­sion to use the boat. Hey took the let­ter to court and used it to get the charges dropped.

But police con­tin­ued to in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter and were told Few­ings did not have per­mis­sion to lend Hey the boat.

Police ques­tioned her and she ad­mit­ted Hey had asked her for help.

She was later charged with at­tempt­ing to per­vert the course of jus­tice and given a wholly sus­pended four­month jail term.

The un­law­ful use of a ves­sel charge was re­in­stated against Hey, who was fined $450. He was also charged with at­tempt­ing to per­vert the course of jus­tice, to which he pleaded guilty on Thurs­day.

De­fence bar­ris­ter Christo­pher Min­nery said the of­fence was “un­so­phis­ti­cated” and, un­like many at­tempts to per­vert the course of jus­tice, it did not in­volve any threats.

Judge Anthony Rafter said Hey had gone to great lengths to at­tempt to avoid a rel­a­tively mi­nor charge.

He sen­tenced Hey to nine months jail to be sus­pended af­ter he serves two months.

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