Judge: Paywave fraud was easily committed

A 20-year-old homeless man who made his way from the North Island to Otago has been convicted of fraud for using a stolen Paywave card.

David Edward Johnson appeared before Judge Michael Crosbie on Friday on one representative charge of fraud, dating from July.

Johnson's crimes confirmed offending using Paywave cards was "a very easy thing to do'', Judge Crosbie said.

A police summary of facts said Johnson picked up the victim's paywave card from a footpath in Hawera, in South Taranaki.

He used the card in McDonald's, the Hawera Z Petrol station and also the Caltex petrol station, and in addition a liquor store and Super Cheap Auto.

He finally stopped when the card was declined, due to the owner having blocked it.

When he was caught he told police he was high on drugs at the time.

Johnson told Judge Crosbie he had travelled from the place he was living in order to better his life, and he had secured employment in Dunedin as a cleaner.

He had been sleeping in his car.

Judge Crosbie said without a stable address he might end up associating with the kind of people he had tried hard to get away from.

"What worries me about you is your living arrangements, and getting some stability.''

He noted Johnson had left home when he was only 14-years-old.

However, he knew young men could ``come right when they get through that adolescent period'', he said.

He encouraged Johnson to go to Work and Income and make arrangements for somewhere to live.

Johnson was sentenced to 12 months' intensive supervision with judicial monitoring.

He was also ordered to pay $261 in reparation.

Johnson already had about $10,000 in unpaid fines outstanding.

The judge remitted $5000 of that in return for 100 hours' community work.



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