A mum accused of blowing money raised for her son’s funeral on pokies, cigarettes and clothing has made an emotional bid for freedom.
A mum accused of blowing money raised for her son’s funeral on pokies, cigarettes and clothing has made an emotional bid for freedom.

Mother charged with funeral fraud cries in court

A mum accused of blowing money raised for her son's funeral on pokies, cigarettes and clothing has made an emotional bid for freedom.

Lesley-Lee Hill, 28, faced the Townsville Magistrates Court in tears where she denied wrongdoing.

"I didn't do any of that," she yelled from the dock.

"I would not do that to my baby."

Hill is charged with dishonestly obtaining a sum of money after allegedly spending about half of the $7000 raised by a GoFundMe fundraiser for her son's funeral in June.

Lesley-Lee Hill in custody, being taken to the Townsville Watch House. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Lesley-Lee Hill in custody, being taken to the Townsville Watch House. Picture: Alix Sweeney

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Hill was in Townsville Watch-House when her son died in an alleged stolen car crash at Garbutt on June 7 when the car he was a passenger in clipped a roundabout and slammed into a traffic light.

"Unbeknownst to the 140 donators there was already funeral arrangements in place by immediate family members and paid for," Prosecutor Tasman Murphy said.

"She knew this and intended to spend the donated money on herself.

"Even confiding in her sister to come spend the money with her at Stocklands."

Mr Murphy said Hill never reimbursed the people who paid for the funeral.

Police opposed bail on the grounds she was at an unacceptable risk of reoffending, interfering with witnesses and failing to appear.

He also opposed bail on the basis that her safety was at risk if she was released due to the increase of vigilantism in the community.

Four children were killed in an alleged stolen car crash. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.
Four children were killed in an alleged stolen car crash. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.

Mr Murphy said police alleged Hill had already contacted other witnesses and asked them to lie to police about her involvement in the GoFundMe.

The court heard Hill had lost the support of most of her family, except her sister.

Her mother is a key witness in the alleged fraud case against her and there is an allegation a letter rendered to the court previously penned by her mother, is fake.

Police allege Hill was given $3656 from the boy's father, who was the organiser of the fundraising page and that the money was not used for funeral costs.

Defence solicitor Victoria Twiney told the court Hill was a loving mother who would contest the charges and claimed Hill was in custody for some of the time her alleged offending took place.

The court heard Hill was on bail with a suspended sentence for other indictable offences when she was taken into custody yesterday.

She is also charged with breaching her bail conditions.

Magistrate Viviana Keegan denied bail and Hill was remanded in custody.

Originally published as Mother charged with funeral fraud cries in court


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