Dodgy handyman who once faked cancer swindles $24k

A fraudster handyman who swindled customers out of more than $24,000 also once faked cancer to get more than $12,000 from his girlfriend for “treatments,” a court heard.

Benjamin James Packer, 39, scammed nine clients out of a total of $24,522.50 between February 10 last year to January 22.

Police prosecutor Mark Burrell on Tuesday told Caloundra Magistrates Court Packer advertised his services online using his real name, provided quotes for work to be completed and failed to follow through once he received payment.

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“In each instance, the victim paid the deposit and in return did not receive the work for which they had paid the deposit for,” he said.

“The defendant cited various excuses to each victim as to why he had not commenced the jobs.”

The court heard one of Packer’s victims was 73.

Senior Constable Burrell said a jail term was the only appropriate sentence considering Packer’s dishonest criminal history.

“The offending was deliberate, it was protracted and breached the trust of these victims who were clearly willing to provide the defendant with employment,” he said.

The court heard Packer was sentenced to 18-months on parole in October 2017 when he scammed his former partner out of $12,500.

“He made claims to his then girlfriend that he had cancer and he needed money for treatment,” Senior Constable Burrell said.

“He stated he would repay her but the defendant failed to repay her any funds and the offending was viewed as a significant breach of trust.”

Packer had previously pleaded guilty to eight charges of fraud dishonestly causing detriment and one charge of fraud dishonestly inducing the delivery of property.

Packer’s lawyer Donna Hanslow-Hastie said Packer’s business had run into

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