Conman too fat for jail

A MORBIDLY obese Ipswich man has received a lighter sentence for ripping off his creditors by more than $270,000 after claiming he wouldn't be able to handle jail as well as more "robust" people.

Barry Graham Payne, 37, failed to declare he was bankrupt when setting up two butcher businesses, and fooled creditors into giving him stock he couldn't pay for.

Payne even lied about having testicular cancer as one of many excuses as to why he couldn't pay his bills.

At sentencing in Ipswich District Court, his lawyers argued Payne would not handle prison well.

The court heard Payne was "not a healthy man" because he was battling obesity and depression, which he suffered as a result of losing his house during the floods last year.

The defence pleaded for leniency because of Payne's weight and suggested he wouldn't cope as well in prison as other inmates because he was so fat.

Payne pleaded guilty to four counts of failing to declare bankruptcy, three counts of fraud and one count of passing a fake cheque.

He still owes $273,500 to creditors and other clients who also engaged him to sell scrap metal.

The offences affected multiple victims and occurred between November 2005 and February 2008.

Payne was sentenced to two and a half years' jail and would normally have served just 10 months of his sentence because he entered a guilty plea.

But after hearing his legal team's arguments, Judge Sarah Bradley said Payne could be released after just six months.

She described Payne's offer to pay restitution as "hollow" and noted his victims were still suffering financial and emotional stress because of his actions.

Topics:  conman fraud ipswich district court

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