'Greedy' stockman pays price for $10K fraud

AS A teenager, Buddieray Lee Wilson hitchhiked from Victoria to the Northern Territory to escape his abusive, alcoholic father.

There he found work on a station and learned the skills of a stockman, building the foundation for a career that would take him across Australia, over to Texas and to Mexico. He was working on a station at Lotus Creek when he made the decision that would taint his near-empty criminal history.

Wilson was lucky to avoid actual jail time for the 10 counts of fraud he pleaded guilty to in Rockhampton Magistrates Court on Monday. He also pleaded guilty to receiving stolen property - a bank card belonging to one of the other station hands at Lotus Creek.

Between March 29 and April 2 last year, Wilson used that bank card to withdraw cash in $1000 increments from a Rockhampton ATM. He withdrew $10,000 in total and was arrested last May after CCTV revealed his use of the ATM.

Police prosecutor Jess King said Wilson had withdrawn money until there was nothing left in a "deliberate and greedy" string of offences.

Defence lawyer Samantha Legrady said Wilson had worked throughout Australia as a stockman and his new employer was willing to support him after the case was finished.

She said Wilson met his future wife while working in Mexico, but she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 and died in 2016.

Wilson had also suffered a broken leg and had to take time off work, missing a car payment and getting into financial trouble. Ms Legrady said that was why Wilson resorted to stealing the money, but he now realised it was "stupid and reckless".

She said Wilson attempted to get a $10,000 loan to repay the money, but was refused.

Magistrate Cameron Press told Wilson he had "allowed greed to get the better of you". She sentenced him to 18 months' imprisonment with immediate parole.

He was ordered to pay $10,000 restitution.