A Dubbo pensioner who used cheques that bounced to pay for two spending sprees he went on across the central west was sentenced to three years in jail on Thursday.
The first spending binge occurred in the middle of 2018 when Pita Taurau, 42, used fraudulent cheques to pay for cars, a motorcyle and other items at businesses in Dubbo and Narromine.
Court documents reveal Taurau had $8.44 in his bank account and knew he didn't have the means to pay for a Mazda ute when he wrote a cheque out for $25,990 to buy it from OzCar in July.
In August he wrote a cheque for $29,990 to buy another Mazda ute from Wheels on Bourke. A few days later at Wholesale 911, he traded that ute in for an older Holden Commodore valued at $7,900 and $10,000 cash.
Taurau's first spending binge also included using dishonoured cheques to pay State Debt Recovery Office fines and Service NSW registration fees.
He went to the Dubbo Police Station in August to hand himself in before going on another smaller spending spree a few weeks later at various businesses. Following these incidents he also handed himself in.
At a pre-sentencing hearing June 4, Taurau's legal representative said he undergoes dialysis three times a week, has periods of hospitalisations and would be extremely vulnerable in jail because of his kidney disease.
She said Taurau, a New Zealand citizen, accepted responsibility for his actions, did not have a criminal record in NSW but had committed fraud offences in New Zealand.
In court it also emerged Taurau was receiving pensions from the Australian and New Zealand Governments.
Court documents reveal he received $650 a month from New Zealand and $520 a fortnight from Australia.
At Taurau's sentencing hearing on Thursday, Magistrate Gary Wilson said there was a degree of planning involved in the crimes because Taurau went to different towns to purchase items to avoid being detected.
Magistrate Wilson made a finding of special circumstances in light of Taurau's kidney problems and sentenced him to 40 months in jail with a non-parole period of 18 months.
Taurau became distressed after the sentence was handed down, made loud noises and struggled to stand as his mother supported him from the public gallery.
He lodged an appeal and it will be heard in the District Court on July 31.
Taurau was refused bail and will remain in custody until the appeal hearing.
Mathews Motorycles and Marines, Walkers Service Centre, Shearing Supplies Dubbo, Landmark Warren and Dubbo, Peter Maher Sheering Forbes, Delta Agribusiness Dubbo and Dunedoo and Town and Country Rural Supplies in Bathurst were the other businesses Taurau targeted.