Crying but no milk was spilt in fraudster's car

A ROAD trip of deceit across regional Queensland ended in tears for Jacqueline Rothwell on Tuesday at Stockland Gladstone.

The mother-of-four began her escapade in Mount Isa last Wednesday, before travelling to Blackwater, Rockhampton and culminating in her arrest in Gladstone.

The 27-year-old woman first entered Woolworths in Mount Isa on May 7 claiming a bottle of milk had burst in her car, with an invoice for carpet cleaning worth $180.70.

Rothwell proceeded with the same tactics at Blackwater Woolworths, North Rockhampton Woolworths and Allenstown Woolworths.

When she reached Gladstone Square Woolworths, modified her story slightly.

A false invoice was presented to staff to recoup $163 for the damage an exploding bottle of bleach had caused to the back seat of her car. Rothwell also tried to collect funds from Boyne Island Woolworths before heading to Stocklands Gladstone.

Police were then alerted to her presence at the shopping centre, after staff informed the defendant they would need to seek approval from management.

Woolworth stores across the state had been alerted to a woman claiming invoices for carpet cleaning to a false ABN.

Upon searching the defendant's vehicle, police found an invoice booklet with numerous falsified receipts for carpet cleaning.

Rothwell faced Gladstone Magistrates Court on Tuesday, where she was ordered to pay restitution of $1003.15 and sentenced to six months jail, but with the immediate granting of parole.

As Rothwell sobbed quietly in the dock, her defence counsel told the court she had needed the funds desperately in order to visit her children in Brisbane.

Topics:  fraud gladstone crime gladstone magistrates court woolworths

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