Taxi driver not fooled by desperate 'low act'
AFTER being busted with a wad of fake $50 notes by a vigilant taxi driver, Martin Rodgers told police he needed the money to buy dog food.
Rodgers, 31, ordered a taxi at midnight to drive him from his Redbank Plains home to an East Ipswich address.
Then when he returned from the house Rodgers attempted to pay the driver with one of his fake $50 notes he now had.
An Ipswich court heard the driver immediately felt the difference in the note.
Prosecutor Sergeant Nicholas Turnbull said the note felt like paper and when the driver saw a police officer doing late night duties at roadworks he stopped and reported the problem.
"He (Rodgers) says he needed the money for dog food and a mate named Aiden was going to help him out," Sgt Turnbull said.
"He (at first) says he had not known they were fake."
Rodgers had a total of nine counterfeit $50 notes.
In Ipswich Magistrates Court, Martin Roy Rodgers pleaded guilty to possessing $450 in counterfeit money on February 16.
Defence lawyer Erin Dwan said Rodgers was now clean of drugs, and worked at the RSPCA as part of a work for the dole program.
"His life has turned around considerably," she said.
"He had a friend who told him he would lend him money as he'd been cut-off from Centrelink at the time. Out of desperation he would do anything.
"That's how he came into their possession, willing to accept anything his friend offered."
Ms Dwan said Rodgers' family was at the court after rallying around to help him, "telling him to pull his finger out".
Magistrate Virginia Sturgess said it was a Commonwealth offence.
"You had nine of the notes and you knew they were counterfeit," she said.
"The taxi driver was on to you.
"It is obviously a serious offence to possess counterfeit money, and a serious matter to pay taxi drivers with fake notes.
"They work hard for their money, often with difficult people. It was a low act."
Rodgers was fined $1000 and given 12 months to pay.