Obtain property by deception case study
Updated: Nov 18, 2022
Where was the case heard?
Broadmeadows Magistrates' Court
What charges did our client face?
Our client was required to attend court to answer 4 charges of Obtain property by deception.
Circumstances of the offending?
Our client had placed advertisements on several web-based marketplaces adverting goods for sale. On four separate occasions, payment was made for the goods, but the goods were not provided to the purchasers. The total amount of funds received by our client was $664. Some funds were returned to one of the purchasers upon the matter being referred to the police for investigation, and our client subsequently being alerted.
What is the maximum penalty for obtaining property by deception?
Obtaining property by deception is prosecuted under section 81 of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic), and is an indictable offence with a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment. Where the quantum of the offending is less than $100,000 the offence is usually prosecuted in the Magistrates' Court.
How was the case prepared, and how did it proceed in Court?
Our client had made full admissions when questioned by police, and so instructed our office he would be pleading guilty, and to prepare a plea in mitigation. Our client had several relevant prior court appearances for property offences in the preceding three years and had previously been fined and placed on an adjourned undertaking. All previous outcomes had been recorded on a without conviction basis.
During submissions to the presiding Magistrate, the following matters were emphasised:
the delay in bringing the matters to court occurred through no fault of our client (offending that occurred in 2019 and case heard in 2022)
our client's efforts at rehabilitation in addressing drug addiction and his securing full-time employment
our client's remorse for his offending, and attempts at making partial reparation
although the offending was made more serious because of our client's relevant court history, the quantum of the offending was not significant.
What was the outcome?
The Court was persuaded to finalise our client's case by not recording a conviction and imposed a fine with made further orders that our client pay restitution to persons who were out of pocket because of his offending.