Charleville mum sentenced over fraud, drug charges
There’s little ‘law abiding’ for Regina Caroline Lawton, who fronted the Charleville courthouse charged with 11 offences, including five fraud charges.
The Charleville Magistrates Court heard on September 18, 2020 the mother of four spent close to $400 of alcohol and cigarettes at two businesses in town after she stole a man’s debit card.
On Monday, January 11 police prosecutor sergeant Caroline Boodnikoff told the court a man reported to police he had lost his wallet and bank statements showed transactions not made by him.
Sergeant Boodnikoff said Lawton had even gone to the effort of wearing a towel over her shoulders to purchase two packets of cigarettes.
Later, she went to the Charleville RSL and the cashier told police, the defendant seemed surprised when the first $85 transaction approved, so she proceeded to do another two $85 alcohol purchases.
Lawton also pleaded guilty to possessing four cone pieces on March 7, 2020.
Defence solicitor, Paul Metcalf told the court his client was born and raised in Charleville, however now lives in Roma and is part taking in Drug Arm and counselling with her ex-partner.
“She sees her kids once a fortnight in Toowoomba,” Mr Metcalf said.
“She has four children.
“To give you some background, the kids had been taken off her earlier in the year and they found out the partner had cancer.
“She turned to alcohol to address the anxiety.
“In relation to the fraud, she was intoxicated at the time and it was the day her and her ex-partner split up, so it was quite an emotional day.”
Magistrate Peter Saggers told Lawton it’s the alcohol that continues to get her into strife.
“When you drink, you do silly things … which then affects your kids,” he said.
“It’s a cycle and that’s why you need to end this issue.
“As the kids get older, they don’t want to see you drunk and angry.”
Lawton pleaded guilty to possessing utensils, breaching bail, obstructing police, five counts of fraud, receiving tainted property and stealing.
The Magistrate placed Lawton on a 15 month probation order, with specific drug and alcohol programs she must complete.
The drug items were forfeited, and she was ordered to pay $376.25 compensation to Heritage bank.
The convictions were recorded.