Mum jailed for tap-and-go fraud

Kalgoorlie Miner - - NEWS - Ja­son Men­nell

A Kal­go­or­lie-Boul­der drug ad­dict who went on a spend­ing spree, rack­ing up $5652 on fraud­u­lent trans­ac­tions with an un­law­fully ob­tained card, has been jailed for nine months.

Del­vene Kirsty Dickie, 37, was sen­tenced at Kal­go­or­lie Mag­is­trate’s Court yes­ter­day after plead­ing guilty to 145 charges, in­clud­ing 117 counts of gain­ing ben­e­fit by fraud and 15 at­tempts to gain ben­e­fit by fraud. Dickie was also con­victed of be­ing in posses­sion of bank cards, a fuel card and a Qan­tas card, all sus­pected to be stolen or un­law­fully ob­tained.

She faces other charges, in­clud­ing three counts of al­legedly ap­pro­pri­at­ing post from three dif­fer­ent post boxes, to which she has pleaded not guilty.

The court was told be­tween Septem­ber 7 and Septem­ber 19, Dickie used the tap-and-go fa­cil­ity on an Amer­i­can Ex­press bank card to pay for taxis and buy mo­bile phones, pre-paid gift cards, per­fume and cig­a­rettes.

She also used the card to buy gro­ceries, clothes and toys and other un­known items.

Po­lice prose­cu­tor Se­nior Con­sta­ble Thomas Ban­yard said in the 10 years he had worked as a prose­cu­tor, he had never come across a case with as many frauds in such a short space of time.

De­fence lawyer Leneva Polmear said it was pro­lific of­fend­ing but it was “out of char­ac­ter”.

She said Dickie used to have a re- spon­si­ble job as a teacher’s aide when she lived in Perth with her hus­band and their chil­dren.

The court was told the fam­ily moved to Kal­go­or­lie-Boul­der and Dickie was sub­jected to bru­tal at­tacks by her hus­band, who was jailed ear­lier this year for 18 months after as­sault­ing her.

Ms Polmear said Dickie turned to metham­phetamine and she had used half of the items fraud­u­lently ob­tained to keep her six chil­dren in clothes and food and the other half to trade for drugs. She said Dickie, who had been in cus­tody for nearly a month, was able to re­flect on her of­fend­ing with a “clear mind” after sober­ing up and she was ex­tremely “em­bar­rassed” and “ashamed”.

Mag­is­trate San­dra De Maio said mit­i­ga­tion could be found in Dickie’s lim­ited record, which be­gan only in 2016.

She said, how­ever, tap-and-go was a new crime and was easy to com­mit, which was why a sen­tence of de­ter­rence was im­por­tant.

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