Bellville - A man was fined R20 000, or 12 months in jail, for trying to buy perfume worth R1 625 at Woolworths five years ago using a cloned bank card.
Charles Lakay, 53, a father of four, appeared in the Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Bellville, Cape Town, on Thursday before Magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg.
In addition to the fine (or jail term), Lakay, who holds an education degree, was sentenced to three years in prison, both sentences conditionally suspended for five years.
The proceedings took the form of a plea bargain negotiated between defence attorney A Botman and prosecutor Simon Leope.
According to the plea bargain document, the attempted purchase occurred in July 2010 at the Canal Walk branch of Woolworths when Lakay presented a cloned Capitec Debit Card Maestro for payment.
Cashier Nadiem Gaydien became suspicious when the card was decline. Gaydien alerted the police and Lakay was arrested on the premises.
Leope told the court that Lakay had a previous conviction for fraud, dating back to 2001.
Although the previous conviction was more than 10 years old, it had to be regarded as an aggravating factor, Leope said, adding that the Woolworths' transaction was deliberate and planned and was also an aggravating factor.