A man has been jailed for defrauding a buyer on Gumtree, with a magistrate saying similar offences were common.
A man has been jailed for defrauding a buyer on Gumtree, with a magistrate saying similar offences were common.

Gumtree fraudster at risk of deportation

A MAN who falsely claimed to be a police officer during an argument and committed online fraud has received a jail sentence.

Ipswich Magistrates Court heard Jack Clark received $1050 from a person after selling a bicycle on Gumtree, but failed to send the bicycle to the buyer.

The court heard Clark’s offending will place the UK citizen at risk of deportation.

Jack Alexander Samuel Clark, 35, from South Ripley and previously Gympie, pleaded guilty to impersonating a police officer on June 21 last year; fraud on March 28, 2020; driving when drug positive while on a probationary licence at Margate on March 6, 2020 and also on the Gateway Motorway on August 13; three counts of failing to appear at court; and three counts of bail breaches by not reporting to police.

Charges of assault causing bodily harm to a person and making threats of violence to cause alarm were set aside for legal reasons and will be dealt with at a later date.

The court heard Clark was on a suspended five-month jail sentence at the time and had since spent 70 days in custody.

No precise facts of the offending were read onto the public record by the police prosecution, however, Magistrate Terry Duroux disclosed some of the details with dates and places of the offences.

Defence lawyer Andrew Stewart said Clark was a UK citizen who had lived in Australia for many years, had a partner and recently became a father.

Mr Stewart sought a jail penalty term of less than 12 months, citing that an order in excess of 12 months would put Clark at risk of deportation.

Mr Stewart said Clark panicked after breaching his bail and then failed to attend his court appearances, described it as being an act of “burying his head in the sand”.

Mr Duroux queried written police facts saying Clark allegedly used a megaphone to make threats to a man.

Mr Stewart said Clark repaired and restored mountain bikes for an income, and had received money from a buyer in NSW but did not hand over the bike.

He said Clark’s drug driving related to his use of ice.

Magistrate Duroux said while he accepted Clark’s persistent failure to appear in court was a problem.

“People seem to think the courts are a drop-in centre. For failing to appear (at court) the maximum penalty is two years,” Mr Duroux reminded Clark.

“And you have done it before.”

Mr Duroux said the police prosecution sought only one month jail for each of the three offences of not attending court.

“In my view that’s well under,” he said.

Mr Duroux said that in March last year Clark advertised a mountain bike on Gumtree and a person sent him $1050 to buy it.

“He did not receive what he paid for. I see a lot of similar matters from Gumtree before the court,” he said.

Mr Duroux said the matter where he stated he was a police officer had involved threats of physical violence, with Clark holding an allen key saying he would “run it through that person”.

“It was deplorable,” Mr Duroux said.

Mr Duroux said it was Clark who had placed himself in the position with the Immigration authorities due to his behaviour.

He was fined $500 and his licence was disqualified for four months for drug driving.

He received six months jail for the fraud and was ordered to pay $1050 restitution.

Clark received lesser penalties on other charges, and the magistrate activated the existing suspended sentence of five months.

The total sentence was 13 months jail. The 70 days held in custody was taken into account and Clark was granted immediate parole.