Fraudster on 'last warning'
A MAN who was so addicted to drugs he attempted to pass bad cheques made out for a total of $500,000 will not serve time behind bars.
Bradley Royston Sparrow pleaded guilty in the Warwick Magistrates Court yesterday to a total of nine charges relating to offences committed over a three-month period in 2008.
The court heard the now 30-year-old engaged in an activity known as "kite-flying".
The practice involves depositing valueless cheques and making withdrawals against those valueless cheques, between two accounts in the person's name.
A man to whom Sparrow owed money was able to extract $25,000 from one of the cheques, unaware it was obtained fraudulently.
Defence counsel for Sparrow, John Bailey, said his client was heavily involved in an assortment of powerful drugs at the time and that was the motivation for the fraud.
"He felt the need for speed (amphetamine) and speed costs," Mr Bailey said.
The nine cheques were made out to values of up to $90,000.
Sparrow's luck seemed to run out when he attempted to pay for around $80 of fuel with a valueless cheque.
Crown Prosecutor Noel Needham told the court it was at that point investigations into the fraud got underway.
Mr Bailey said Sparrow voluntarily sought help for his drug problem following the incidents and has been clean ever since.
He added Sparrow had been in steady employment in Warwick for the past 14 months and is expecting his second child with his de facto partner.
The court heard he was extremely remorseful for his actions and was working towards obtaining funds to be able to repay the $25,000 to the bank.
The $80 has been repaid to the fuel station.
Judge Julie Ryrie sentenced Sparrow to two years jail but placed him on immediate parole and ordered him to repay the money within two years.
Sparrow left the court room with a stern warning from Her Honour.
"Consider yourself lucky Mr Sparrow - stay out of trouble, that's your last opportunity to do so."