Thief ran up $400 on card with pay pass option

Kerri Moore

A WOMAN, who said she was financially destitute, stole another woman's bank card and used it to buy alcohol and cigarettes.

The victim had completed her shopping at a self-service checkout in Andergrove but left her wallet behind. It was handed in to the service desk.

Cassandra Leigh Hosking noticed this and asked her partner to collect "her wallet" from the service desk.

The 26-year-old mother then used the stolen card to go on a $400 spending spree within two hours of falsely claiming the card on February 28.

Hosking made seven fraudulent purchases, using the pay pass option at three different businesses to purchase alcohol, cigarettes, gift cards such as iTunes and cinema gift cards, phone credit and cash out, prosecutor Sheena Hayes told Mackay Magistrates Court.

The victim was made aware of the transactions after receiving a phone call from her bank, Ms Hayes said. She viewed CCTV footage taken at the shopping centre where she left her wallet and later recognised Hosking in the street, took her vehicle registration details and passed them on to police.

The victim's wallet, driver's licence, bank card and Medicare and Medibank Private cards were located in Hosking's wardrobe.

CCTV footage taken at the three businesses showed Hosking making the $447.72 worth of purchases.

Legal Aid Queensland defence solicitor Kristie Doyle said neither Hosking nor her partner was working at the time of the offending. Hosking instructed they had been "destitute", Ms Doyle said.

Magistrate Damien Dwyer didn't accept that submission, saying she didn't buy food or clothing.

"(You) went out and bought grog and smokes... and gift cards," Mr Dwyer said. "It was a low act."

Hosking pleaded guilty to fraud, stealing and possessing stolen property.

She was fined $1200 and ordered to pay full restitution, but because of her minor history no conviction was recorded.

Topics:  court crime fraud mackay

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