A Sunshine Coast man wound up in the Maroochydore Magistrates Court after he spent up big on other people's cards.
A Sunshine Coast man wound up in the Maroochydore Magistrates Court after he spent up big on other people's cards. Vicki Wood/SCA280312scam

Fraudster goes 'hell for leather' on spending spree

A TAP-and-go spending spree amidst a spiralling drug addiction landed a former chef in the watchhouse for a week, staring down a lengthy prison sentence.

Luke Christian Martin racked up $1129.43 in fraudulent PayPass purchases, and attempted to spend hundreds of dollars more.

The 29-year-old was scolded in the Maroochydore Magistrates Court for his 12 fraud charges and for receiving tainted property.

Magistrate Rod Madsen said while receiving stolen goods may seem "fairly inconsequential" when compared to those who stole from cars and homes, the "receivers" made them more "willing to do what they do".

Mr Madsen said PayPass fraud was prevalent offending, and people could go "hell for leather" spending up to $100 each purchase until the funds ran out or the card was cancelled.

Defence lawyer Ben Rynderman proposed a three-month parole period, but Magistrate Madsen said the punishment for these offences could easily be 12 to 18-months' imprisonment.

Mr Rynderman told the court this client had been a chef for 13 years, but started smoking methyl amphetamine two years ago and "clearly spiralled out of control".

Martin told the court he was "clean" throughout the court-facilitated QMERIT drug program, but had failed to attend the last three meetings and therefore failed.

He had spent five days in custody before he appeared via videolink and pleaded guilty to 18 charges which included 12 fraudulent applications of property, four receiving tainted property, and possessing stolen property, dangerous drugs and utensils.

Magistrate Madsen said Martin's sentence must deter him and other "like-minded individuals" from similar offending.

He was sentenced to six-months' imprisonment wholly suspended for 18 months for the receiving charges, three months' wholly suspended for a year for the fraud offences and was convicted and not further punished for the drug matters.

All items were forfeited and Martin was ordered to pay $1400 restitution.