Man jailed for pawning stolen mobile phone

Misty Bland lost almost $1000 to fraudsters when she responded to what looked like a genuine Facebook security notification.
Misty Bland lost almost $1000 to fraudsters when she responded to what looked like a genuine Facebook security notification. Peter Holt

WHEN a cyclist accidentally dropped his mobile phone on a Bundaberg street and pedalled on unaware, the device ended up in the hands of Jason Ranger.

Ranger hocked the phone for $60 at a pawnbroker.

He was later charged with a fraud offence.

Appearing in custody in Bundaberg Magistrates Court, Ranger pleaded guilty to gaining a financial benefit on June 5 and failing to appear before the court on August 4.

Prosecutor Sergant Dean Burgess said the Samsung phone fell from the cyclist's pocket on Sims Rd.

Ranger told police he had pawned it after buying it off a young guy who advertised on Facebook.

"He says he only pawned the phone to buy cigarettes for his partner. He has paid back the $60," Sgt Burgess said.

He said it was Ranger's third offence for failing to appear since last September.

Lawyer Nick Larter said Ranger has taken positive steps in recent months to rehabilitate while on a probation order and been attending counselling including anger management, alcohol and drugs.

"He comes from a low socio-economic circumstances and is not working," he said.

Magistrate Belinda Merrin accepted Ranger had engaged in a meaningful way with probation services and repaid the $60 but he also had a lengthy criminal history.

Ms Merrin said a jail sentence was appropriate given Ranger's history but there were factors in his favour.

She sentenced Ranger to two months jail, immediately suspended for nine months.

Topics:  buncourt

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