Under certain circumstances, unpaid small amounts can go straight to jail. Yesterday, a 33-year-old woman from the western district of kulmbach came within a hair's breadth of being convicted at the local court in kulmbach. She had used her EC card to buy various items of clothing at H&M, although the card was not covered.
Overview of finances completely lost
The clothing chain has not seen any money from the woman to this day. The court therefore sentenced the 33-year-old to three months' imprisonment on probation for fraud. Despite three different, partly severe criminal records, the case was only saved because the woman could credibly show that she had completely lost track of her finances at the time of the crime a year ago.
In court, however, the woman only managed a partial confession. "The account was covered", she said. After all, other debits had also been made. She certainly did not have any proof. But a hefty bill from a collection agency. But she does not want to get them at all. "There is often mail disappeared", said the accused.
"Not for the first time"
When she also reported that first she, then her children and finally the investigating police officers were sick, public prosecutor roland kohler burst his collar a bit. "It's not the first time we've been in court for fraud", said the prosecutor.
For him the conditional precept had long been fulfilled. Judge sieglinde tettmann's patience was wearing thin as well.
"Despite being charged and summoned to appear, they have done nothing, not even made a small down payment, and that with their criminal record", the judge was surprised.
At the same time the account of the woman showed several ominous four-digit amounts. She could not really explain this, but that these were amounts of money that had to be assigned to her boyfriend, because he did not have his own account at that time. "I have also had to lock people up for such petty crimes, if they had the appropriate criminal record", said judge tettmann once again with a warning undertone.
Three previous convictions
In fact, the woman had already been sentenced twice for fraud and most recently for a false unsworn statement to three- to four-digit fines.
The accusation fully confirmed saw prosecutor kohler. The only thing he credited to the woman was the relatively low value of the damage done. Because of the multiple convictions, the prosecutor demanded four months on probation for fraud and a work requirement of 80 hours of voluntary community service.
Judge tettmann agreed to the 80 hours, and went down a month in the penalty scale. The defendant had lost track of her finances and let them get a little sloppy, the judge said.
She also does not believe that the woman really has a grip on her finances now, said tettmann. Therefore a short prison sentence is indispensable, albeit on probation and combined with 80 hours of community service.
The accused has to do the social hours within the next four months according to the instructions of the association bewahrungshilfeverein fahre in bayreuth, in addition she has to pay the costs of the proceedings and must not be guilty of anything within the next three years. Otherwise she will have to serve the three months behind bars after all.