Accused man has nasty habits

THE price of cigarettes was no barrier to Ashley Gordon Hicks, who allegedly racked up more than $1000 worth of purchases of cigarettes on a stolen credit card.

In just two hours after stealing the Commonwealth Bank MasterCard from his victim at 7.30am on January 31 last year, police claim Hicks visited several large retail outlets, one of them twice, to carry out several fraudulent transactions.

For the first four transactions Hicks allegedly illegally spent less than $100 each time when he purchased cigarettes, however later in the morning he decided to up the ante on his limit with the largest transaction in the central business district on a single transaction totalling $284.85.

At one stage during his spending spree Hicks allegedly digressed from his usual pattern of cigarette purchases and purchased a camera and MP3 player from an electronics outlet with the stolen credit card.

At his final visit to a grocery outlet two hours after the alleged card theft, Hicks decided to throw in a carton of VB as part of the illegal transaction according to police.

Hicks faced Orange Local Court on Thursday charged with nine counts of dishonestly obtaining property by deception.

He also faced one charge of larceny for theft of a credit card.

Hicks is on bail until the case returns to court in a few weeks.

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