Community detention for scammers

A couple who scammed traders out of thousands of dollars on the auction site Wheedle were sentenced to community detention when they appeared in the Balclutha District Court this week.

Jordan Michael White, 21, and Jade Diane Ackland, 20, of Clinton, appeared before Judge Stephen Coyle yesterday charged with obtaining by deception.

The court was told Ackland had panicked when White lost his job and was given a stand- down period before his benefit was paid.

The pair devised a scheme to buy food and baby clothes and pay for rent and power by scamming traders on Wheedle by selling items that did not exist.

Ten of the traders targeted between May 2 and June 17 did not pay for the goods, but 34 traders paid a total of $6579.50.

"Many of these were parents whose sons and daughters had worked hard to get pocket money to pay for these nonexistent items," Judge Coyle said.

Amounts concerned varied from $1 to $631.50.

Ackland was due to give birth to their son at the end of October and Judge Coyle advised the pair to look closely at the example they would set their child.

He sentenced each to three months' community detention and ordered them to pay reparation.


Tony Reese Robinson, 21, of Milton, was sentenced to 225 hours' community work and six months' supervision after he admitted hiring goods from Mr Rental in Dunedin and selling them.

The offending occurred between September 13, 2012 and November 5 and involved a total of $5630 of goods.

Robinson was addicted to cannabis and K2, was financially out of control and vulnerable when approached by "friends" to take part in the scam, the court was told.

"They let you dig the hole and then abandoned you," Judge Coyle said.

Goods ranged from 3-D televisions to mobile phones and XBox players and games.

The Southland Times