Ciggies, pokies: Dead boy’s mum charged with funeral fraud
THE mother of a teenager killed in a horrific crash blew half the cash raised for her son's funeral on pokies, cigarettes and clothing, police will allege.
Lesley-Lee Hill, 28, has been charged with dishonestly obtaining a sum of money after allegedly blowing about half of the $7000 raised for Lucius Baira-Hill's funeral in June.
Lucius was killed 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 police.
He was one of four teenagers killed in the crash at the intersection of Bayswater Rd and Duckworth St.
Police will allege Hill was given $3600 from Lucius' father, who was the organiser of the fundraising page, three days after they buried their son on June 22.
Hill allegedly spent majority of the money on clothing, cigarettes and at the pokies in less than two weeks.
Police said Lucius' funeral was paid for entirely by his grandmother.
Detectives are still investigating further aspects in relation to the rest of the funeral fund money.
Hill was interviewed by police on July 10 and detectives began their hunt for evidence days later after a call out to the community.
More than 40 people who donated to the GoFundMe page came forward with complaints.
Townsville Child Protection and Investigation Unit officer-in-charge Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Miles said the alleged actions were "bewildering".
"To have an individual (allegedly) seek to profit from their own child's death is hard to put into words," he said.
"From a community perspective, the community reached out to support the family.
"Regardless of circumstances, this was a tragedy in which four young lives were taken."
Hill was escorted to the Townsville watch house by police today.
She will face Townsville Magistrates Court tomorrow where police will oppose her bail.
The fatal crash sent shockwaves through the community, with many residents calling for the state government to amend the Youth Justice Act to enforce stricter laws on young offenders.
It was later revealed that all the children, who were aged between 13 and 17 years old, were known to the Child Safety Department.
The government changed the laws surrounding youth bail less than two weeks after the crash.
Originally published as Ciggies, pokies: Dead boy's mum charged with funeral fraud