Man gave his mate stolen credit card to repay debt

A SWANBANK man gave his mate a stolen credit card as means of clearing a debt he owed.

At Ipswich Magistrates Court, the recipient of the stolen card, Patrick James Cochrane, pleaded guilty charges of receiving stolen property and fraud.

Cochrane used the card to make a series of small purchases on February 11.

Defence lawyer Matthew Fairclough said Cochrane's friend had stolen the card but had given it to the 44-year-old to use.

Mr Fairclough said Cochrane's mate had owed him money and that the credit card was given to him as a means of repayment.

He said Cochrane, a labourer, used the card in the company of two other people who had also been charged in relation to the fraud offences.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Matt Donnelly said Cochrane had fraudulently spent $247.38.

In sentencing, magistrate Barry Cosgrove said there was a need for general deterrence.

"If your mate owed you money, he can't pay that off by giving you someone else's credit card," Mr Cosgrove told Cochrane.

"The purchases you made did not add up to a huge amount but that does not make it any less reprehensible.

"People need to have their property respected. You don't know what problems you caused the person whose card you took."

In addition to the offences of dishonesty, Cochrane was also charged with lighting an unauthorized fire in Swanbank on March 10.

Mr Fairclough said Cochrane was under the influence when he lit the fire and that the blaze had not caused any damage.

However Mr Cosgrove said when people risked lighting a fire, they risked people's lives or damaging property.

"I see the emergency service - including the fire brigade - was called out to that incident at some significant cost to the community," he said.

Mr Cosgrove noted that Cochrane had a criminal history that included offences of dishonesty.

For the receiving stolen property and fraud charges, Cochrane was sentenced to nine months in prison and released on parole.

For starting the unauthorised fire he was sentenced to three months in jail, suspended for two years.


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