Man uses dead woman’s stolen bank card to buy games

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Four charges: A man used a dead woman’s bank card to buy items at Cash Converters, a court has heard. Photo by Megan Fisher

A man who used a dead woman’s stolen bank card to buy a PlayStation and games did not remember committing the offence, but admitted to it after seeing CCTV footage of himself, a court has heard.

Anthony Celms, 49, of Corowa, pleaded guilty in Shepparton Magistrates’ Court to three counts of obtaining property by deception, and retention of stolen goods.

Prosecutor Ibrahim Abdalla told the court a man noticed three unusual transactions on his deceased wife’s bank card when he went to close her account on February 17, 2020.

The card had been used at Shepparton’s Cash Converters that day to buy a Makita tool kit, a Sony PlayStation and PlayStation games for $115.

The man reported the transactions to the police who then reviewed CCTV footage, which displayed Celms making the purchases.

When Celms was arrested on March 6 last year he “denied knowledge of the incident due to alcohol and drug use”, Mr Abdalla said.

Representing himself in court, Celms said that although he did not remember the incident, it “was clear” it was him in the CCTV footage.

He said around that time he had had a mental breakdown from burnout from work and was living in the bush.

Magistrate David Faram fined Celms $500 and ordered he pay $115 in restitution to the dead woman’s husband.