THEY treated their grandson like the son they had lost, but he repaid their love and generosity with cruel betrayal.
Not content with using his grandparents’ credit card details to splurge $24,300 on 87 purchases of accommodation, petrol, alcohol, eating out and telephone credit over 11 weeks, the now 27-year-old Wagga man stole their Toyota Landcruiser and caravan, valued at $150,000.
And when he got to Katherine, he tried to have $613,000 from his grandparents’ term deposit transferred into the account of a woman travelling with him.
After his frauds were uncovered and he was shunned by his family, the man was taken in by a friend.
But the Good Samaritan’s charity was rewarded by his mate stealing a cheque, making it out for $613,000 and, strangely, forging his grandmother’s signature at the bottom.
The man, whose name The Daily Advertiser has chosen not to publish in order to protect his grandparents, was given a 25-month non-parole jail sentence in Wagga Local Court on August 11 after pleading guilty to dishonestly obtaining property by deception, attempting to dishonestly obtain property by deception and larceny.
On appeal to the District Court, the sentence on Thursday was reduced to 16 months.
Two counts of unlawful use of a motor vehicle – relating to the Landcruiser and the caravan – have not yet been finalised in the Northern Territory.
In reading out the agreed facts, Judge David Arnott said the man obtained the credit card details from his grandmother when he rang from Melbourne asking for her help to pay for parking.
He kept the details on a piece of paper and used them to rip off his grandparents between March 7 and May 26.
On May 28, the grandparents reported the theft of their vehicle and caravan to Wagga police and filed a complaint about the credit card fraud.
On June 4 and 5, the woman travelling with the man made several telephone calls to the grandparents’ bank trying to have the term deposit transferred into her account, but the bids failed.
The court was told the man had convinced the woman the money was his from the sale of a house and was being kept in trust by the grandparents.
The man was arrested on his return to Wagga in late June.
Judge Arnott said the grandparents’ generous treatment of the man left him with a sense of entitlement.
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