Father's $4K fuel card spending spree across CQ
A 34-YEAR-OLD father-of-three racked up over $4000 in two months on a stolen card with transactions at Puma petrol stations from Gladstone to Townsville, resulting in 73 fraud charges.
"It's not something to be sneezed at," Magistrate Cameron Press remarked on the total amount, $4340, racked up on the fuel card.
Anthony William Love pleaded guilty on January 12 to the fraud charges, an enter premise charge and a theft charge in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court.
Police prosecutor Shanye Studdert said Love stole the fuel card from a concrete plumbing business at Baralaba on December 5, 2016, while he was at the site to clean the business' vehicles.
The court heard Love used the card 73 times at petrol stations including Calliope, Gladstone, Parkhurst, Berserker, Norman Gardens, Yeppoon, Carmila, Nebo, Marlborough, Mackay, Ayr, Bowen along with Townsville suburbs.
The amounts varied with the highest transaction over $400. All transactions were for things such as food, hygiene products and fuel.
The court heard he stole a mobile phone on January 29, 2017, from a woman he had met on dating website Plenty of Fish.
Mr Studdert said Love's offending only stopped when police apprehended him.
Defence lawyer Bryce Younger told the court Love had been kicked out of the family home and only had his vehicle to live in.
He said his now former wife would not let him see his children at this time.
"He (Love) found it hard to find work and had a large amount of debt," Mr Younger said.
He said two grandparents died around that same time.
"He found himself at breaking point and made some extremely stupid decisions," Mr Younger said.
He said since this offending period, Love had remarried, resumed his relationship with his children, had been working full-time for the past year and was expecting another child with his new wife.
Mr Younger said Love and his new wife had been told their child due to be born this month was likely to have Down Syndrome.
Mr Press ordered Love to a nine-month prison term, suspended immediately with a three-year operational period, along with 18 months' probation and ordered he pay $5339.06 restitution.