Stolen car lands woman in court

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Guilty plea: A woman faced court charged with negligently dealing with the proceeds of crime. Photo by Rodney Braithwaite

A woman who told police she bought a car for $4500 after seeing it on Facebook has been fined, as the car was stolen.

Shayne Cooke, 38, of Cobram, pleaded guilty in Shepparton Magistrates’ Court to negligently dealing with the proceeds of crime and contravening a community corrections order.

Prosecutor Leading Senior Constable Brent O’Grady told the court a blue Ford Territory was stolen from a driveway between 7pm on November 12, 2017 and 5am the following day.

On November 13, 2017 police saw the car at a property in the Melbourne suburb of Keilor Downs with false number plates on it.

When police spoke to people at the property, they said the car belonged to Cooke.

When police interviewed Cooke later, she told them she “purchased it from a male named Troy” for $4500 “on November 15, 2017” after seeing it on Facebook, Leading Sen Constable O’Grady said.

Cooke also refused to provide details of Facebook messages to police.

Cooke also told police she did not do any checks on the vehicle before the purchase and did not attend VicRoads to register it “because she couldn’t pay”, Leading Sen Constable O’Grady said.

Cook’s solicitor Megan McKenna told the court the incident was “a really long time ago” and pre-dated a community corrections order she had been placed on since then for other matters.

Ms McKenna argued this offence would not change the outcome much when she was placed on the community corrections order.

“She has shown over the past two and a half years she can remain offence-free,” Ms McKenna said.

She also said the mother-of-two had significant drug use problems at the time, but had been drug-free for the past five months.

Magistrate Ian Watkins fined Cooke $700 for the car matter.

He also cancelled Cooke’s community corrections order and re-sentenced her to a $600 fine for the charges it related to.