CATFISH: Woman back in court for luring man on Tinder
A COURT has heard how a young woman 'catfished' a man just days after being sentenced in court for a similar offence.
Bridget Jane Canty, 20, pleaded guilty in Bundaberg Magistrates Court today to fraud and using another person's identity to commit or facilitate the commission of an indictable offence.
The term 'catfish' is defined as luring someone into a relationship by means of a fictional persona.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Tina Bland told the court between January 29 and April 1 this year Canty set up a Tinder account using the name and photos of a 23-year-old woman from Victoria.
Sen Const Bland said the photos of the 23-year-old were taken from Facebook and Instagram.
The victim made contact with Canty through Tinder thinking he was speaking with another woman.
The pair moved their communication to Instagram where they continued chatting and exchanged multiple photos with each other.
They eventually exchanged phone numbers and sent messages and began talking.
In their conversations, Canty told the man she had a two-year-old child, was suffering mental illness and was being stalked by her ex-partner.
Sen Const Bland told the court Canty also told the man she was suffering from financial hardship and asked him for help.
But the child and stalking revelations she made to him were not true.
The victim, believing he was in a relationship with the 23-year-old he met on Tinder, transferred $1000 in to Canty's account - but then the tide turned.
After continuing an online relationship with the woman he began to become suspicious of her and made some inquiries.
He then found out that the woman he was talking to was actually Canty and made contact with her, demanding his money back.
Canty refunded the money back to the man in May.
The man reported Canty to police on May 14, and the following day she was arrested at home.
During an interview with police she made full admissions to what she had done.
Sen Const Bland said the offending happened just days after Canty was fined in court for doing the same thing.
Canty's lawyer Rian Dwyer described the offending as "immature" and "juvenile".
He said his client had been diagnosed with depression and was going to counselling.
Mr Dwyer said Canty was pregnant at the time but suffered a miscarriage.
He said Canty's former partner had also played mind games with her.
Magistrate Andrew Moloney took into account Canty's plea of guilty and her history.
"The most serious aspect of this, is you commenced doing it within days of appearing in this court, and being fined for exactly the same conduct," he said.
"You lied about being stalked, you lied about having a child."
Mr Moloney said fines were not appropriate this time because of how soon this offending had occurred after the previous similar matter was dealt with.
Canty was ordered to complete 15 months probation.