A Townsville mother accused of misusing public donations for her son’s funeral on gambling and a shopping spree has wept in court and denied any wrongdoing.
- Lesley-Lee Hill is charged with fraud and breach of bail after allegedly misusing $3,650 raised for her son’s funeral
- Her 13-year-old son, Lucius Baira-Hill, was killed in a stolen car crash in June
- Ms Hill was denied bail and remanded in custody
Lesley-Lee Hill, 28, was refused bail and remanded in custody at the Townsville Magistrates Court after being charged with fraud and breach of bail.
Her son, 13-year-old Lucius Baira-Hill, was one of four teenagers killed when a stolen car slammed into a traffic light pole at Garbutt in June.
One hundred and forty people donated more than $6,600 to a crowdfunding page that was purportedly raising money to cover the boy’s funeral costs.
Police allege Ms Hill spent $3,650 of the funds on herself, and the court told she invited her sister to join her in a shopping trip.
“The family members who arranged the funeral said they never received any funds or reimbursement from the defendant,” police prosecutor Tasman Murphy said.
“It’s unconscionable that somebody, namely Lesley-Lee Hill, would spend their child’s generously donated funeral fund on material for her own gain.”
Police opposed bail, arguing Ms Hill posed an unacceptable risk of failing to appear, committing further offences and interfering with witnesses.
“Given the public reaction to the already published news stories about this, the safety of the defendant may very well be at risk also, given increased vigilante action,” Mr Murphy said.
The court heard Ms Hill was facing other charges relating to dishonestly obtaining Centrelink parenting payments and was not adhering to her bail conditions.
Lawyer Victoria Twivey said her client was still grieving the loss of her child and contested the new allegations.
“She had no knowledge of this GoFundMe page — she wasn’t a signatory,” Ms Twivey said.
Ms Hill cried in the dock as she spoke to the Magistrate and denied wrongdoing.
“I didn’t do any of that,” she said.
“I’ve complied with all my bail, I’ve done everything I can do right.
The case will return to court on September 24.
Police said they were investigating what happened to the rest of the funeral donation money.