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Canberra man steals from ACTTAB 107 times, is sorry

By Barcham 26 March 2013 31

Simon Wheeler has just been sentenced to five years imprisonment for stealing from ACTTAB to pay off his gambling debts. Using false invoices he managed to trick ACTTAB into paying him money he didn’t win. The amazing part is he managed this 107 times. Should have quit at 106, or perhaps 0.

Five years imprisonment becomes one year full time imprisonment and six months periodic detention due to the evident remorse of the defendant. The lesson is always, always say you’re sorry.

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Canberra man steals from ACTTAB 107 times, is sorry
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Instant Mash 7:59 pm 30 Mar 13

Personal views on gambling aside, it’s still a legal and legitimate business, fed by those who (hopefully) understand the consequences and risks involved.

Anyway, as far as I’m concerned, the fact of the matter is that this person has defrauded a business 107 times. While quite impressive, it’s obviously illegal. And if he’s willing to do it over and over again, I find it hard to believe he was truly remorseful.

Having said that, I don’t really have a problem with the sentence. It’s not as if anybody was directly hurt by this.

bundah 5:30 pm 30 Mar 13

Vindalu said :

Oh Bundah and Asparagus you recognise me as the craven, feckless slave of the punt that I am. However casting nasturtiums about my clobber is a bit below the knotted rope.

Yep it was a sure bet that someone was going to whip you past the post!

Vindalu 4:08 pm 30 Mar 13

Oh Bundah and Asparagus you recognise me as the craven, feckless slave of the punt that I am. However casting nasturtiums about my clobber is a bit below the knotted rope.

AsparagusSyndrome 2:34 pm 30 Mar 13

Vindalu said :

Sort of like man biting dog, ACTAB has been thieving from me for years – that would never make the news! I’d love to rip them off – in a politically and socially acceptable way of course.

I’m lucky, I guess. ACTAB haven’t been stealing from me. In all the years I’ve lived in these parts, that’s never happened. And same goes for many of my friends and neighbours I think.

Perhaps it’s just the way you dress. Or do you leave your house unlocked at night? Or walk around in poorly lit neighbour hoods? These kinds of questions arise in lots of other RiotAct posts when people are victims of crime, like robbery or burglary. I normally despise correspondents who ‘blame the victim’ when crime occurs, because that just condones the crime, really and perpetuates a sense that the crime is acceptable at some level.

But in your particular case, I wonder if you might have been doing something, or partaking in some sort of activity that might, say, encourage ACTAB to thieve from you.(?) Just wondering.

bundah 2:31 pm 30 Mar 13

Vindalu said :

Sort of like man biting dog, ACTAB has been thieving from me for years – that would never make the news! I’d love to rip them off – in a politically and socially acceptable way of course.

Really? Or is it more that you’ve willingly contributed to their coffers hoping to get a sizeable return?

Vindalu 2:14 pm 30 Mar 13

Sort of like man biting dog, ACTAB has been thieving from me for years – that would never make the news! I’d love to rip them off – in a politically and socially acceptable way of course.

IrishPete 9:42 am 30 Mar 13

chewy14 said :

IrishPete said :

chewy14 said :

I personally think those things should be almost irrelevant in criminal matters and I think you should not get discounted or lesser sentences simply because you had a troubled life.

p.s. then you fail to understand the causes of crime and criminality. If you think that people dragged up turn into, on average, just as well-functioning people as those brought up, then you need to educate yourself on how things really are. If you are actually interested in reducing crime (which means reducing the number of victims), you need to stop people commencing offending. Locking them up with other offenders has long been shown not to achieve that. Prevention is better than cure. Prevention begins in childhood, not at the prison gates.

Anyway, no-one gets a lesser sentence or better treatment for being middle class or wealthy, like bail on a charge of making child pornography, or multi-million dollar fraud. Do they? That’s the other end of the same argument. (And in case you’re not getting the sarcasm, yes they do get better treatment.)

IP

I’m all for prevention, there should be far more money spent on crime prevention.

But,

I’m also a firm believer in personal responsibility, to which your background makes no difference.
As you’ve mentioned, some white collar people may also get preferential treatment based on their ability to defend themselves and I don’t agree with that either.

But the vast majority of crime (particularly violent crime which I think is more important than property crime) isn’t committed by those people is it?

Arguable if you include domestic violence and sexual offending (especially child sexual abuse), which are grossly under-reported and under-prosecuted, and are much less class-related.

Also arguable whether violent crime is always worse – depriving hundreds of elderly people of their retirement savings could be much worse than robbing one individual.

But all other things being equal, yes, violence is worse.

IP

chewy14 8:07 pm 28 Mar 13

IrishPete said :

chewy14 said :

I personally think those things should be almost irrelevant in criminal matters and I think you should not get discounted or lesser sentences simply because you had a troubled life.

p.s. then you fail to understand the causes of crime and criminality. If you think that people dragged up turn into, on average, just as well-functioning people as those brought up, then you need to educate yourself on how things really are. If you are actually interested in reducing crime (which means reducing the number of victims), you need to stop people commencing offending. Locking them up with other offenders has long been shown not to achieve that. Prevention is better than cure. Prevention begins in childhood, not at the prison gates.

Anyway, no-one gets a lesser sentence or better treatment for being middle class or wealthy, like bail on a charge of making child pornography, or multi-million dollar fraud. Do they? That’s the other end of the same argument. (And in case you’re not getting the sarcasm, yes they do get better treatment.)

IP

I’m all for prevention, there should be far more money spent on crime prevention.

But,

I’m also a firm believer in personal responsibility, to which your background makes no difference.
As you’ve mentioned, some white collar people may also get preferential treatment based on their ability to defend themselves and I don’t agree with that either.

But the vast majority of crime (particularly violent crime which I think is more important than property crime) isn’t committed by those people is it?

IrishPete 4:38 pm 28 Mar 13

chewy14 said :

I personally think those things should be almost irrelevant in criminal matters and I think you should not get discounted or lesser sentences simply because you had a troubled life.

p.s. then you fail to understand the causes of crime and criminality. If you think that people dragged up turn into, on average, just as well-functioning people as those brought up, then you need to educate yourself on how things really are. If you are actually interested in reducing crime (which means reducing the number of victims), you need to stop people commencing offending. Locking them up with other offenders has long been shown not to achieve that. Prevention is better than cure. Prevention begins in childhood, not at the prison gates.

Anyway, no-one gets a lesser sentence or better treatment for being middle class or wealthy, like bail on a charge of making child pornography, or multi-million dollar fraud. Do they? That’s the other end of the same argument. (And in case you’re not getting the sarcasm, yes they do get better treatment.)

IP

IrishPete 4:32 pm 28 Mar 13

chewy14 said :

IrishPete said :

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

No he is actually pretty much right, Pete. Don’t get me wrong, you are no stevian, but probably the closest to them.

Quotes? Evidence? On sentencing I think you’ll find the evidence points to me sharing the RiotACT hive view that ACT sentencing is abysmal. That ACT Courts are abysmal in general, in particular their timeliness. But when the Chief Justice’s family are frequent flyers in the criminal justice system, you know something’s rotten in the state (Territory) of Denmark (ACT).

If some of my opinions on the criminal justice system, or the causes of offending, don’t meet the approval of uninformed RiotACT hangers and floggers, that may say more about you than me – see the poll at this link for an alternative perspective on the world http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/prisoner-support-program-a-first-20130324-2goek.html

If in this instance I think the evil perpetrated by ACTTAB somewhat offsets the seriousness of this man’s offending. No-one whines when a drug dealer is robbed, or when one serial offender runs over another (remember Mully anyone? that a baby died in that incident too is sad). This is an analogous scenario, except governments make the law, and they’ve decided it’s okay for them and others to profit from addicted gamblers, but it’s not okay for anyone to profit from addicted drug users (except Big Pharma, the makers of methadone and naltrexone).

IP

Pete,

my first comment to you was a bit tongue in cheek but in my opinion you do have a propensity to show greater allowance for some criminals based on their history or life circumstances. I personally think those things should be almost irrelevant in criminal matters and I think you should not get discounted or lesser sentences simply because you had a troubled life.

But besides that are you really comparing a legal business with criminal drug dealers or Mully?

I think drugs should be legalised and the government should be regulating and selling them but at the moment they aren’t so your comparison is completely off base.
Drug dealers or people like Mully aren’t regulated and aren’t forced to offer extensive help for the people who they sell to or committ crimes against. I would even draw a distinction between people who sell products to willing individuals and people who directly harm others against their will.

There may be an argument for greater regulation in the gambling industry but that is an entirely seperate argument to the one you are making now and I think your drawing a massive bow by trying to say this person’s crime is less important because it was committed against the TAB.

Probably doesn’t help that I have no idea what or who stevian is.

But to analyse your argument a bit, you note that gambling is legal. Yes, only until government decides otherwise. That doesn’t mean it isn’t exploitative. And Government is profiting from it. Spot a conflict of interest here?

Obviously (to anyone with half a brain or more, and I’m glad that includes you) legalising and controlling most currently illegal drugs is the only sensible way forward. Most of them are getting buy on legal drugs now anyway, from dodgy doctors and other sources.

But obviously I still won’t accept that I am somehow “pro-criminal”, particularly in the absence of ny evidence to support that allegation. Pro-justice and pro-human rights, yes. But you can be those things and pro-victim. No victim wants to wait years to give evidence in a trial and finally get “closure”. And solid research shows that victims aren’t actually the hangers and floggers that people think they are.

IP

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