Rockingham police charge 67-year-old man after attempting to falsify National Police Clearance Check

Tyra PetersSound Telegraph
A 67-year-old man has pleaded guilty to defraud charges.
Camera IconA 67-year-old man has pleaded guilty to defraud charges. Credit: Tyra Peters/Sound Telegraph

A 67-year-old man has been charged after attempting to forge a National Police Clearance Check in an effort to hide past convictions and secure employment.

John James Simpson appeared in Rockingham Magistrates Court on Friday, pleading guilty to one count of intent to defraud records.

Prosecutor Sergeant Shaun Bailey told the court that on May 11, 2022, an email was sent to the administration team of Fremantle Cranes and “attached to the email was a National Police Clearance Certificate and medical declaration for John Simpson”.

Simpson was required to submit a National Police Clearance to work, however it was later revealed that the details provided on the certificate had been altered.

“The certificate provided was not a true copy of the NPC issued on February 3, 2022,” Sergeant Bailey said.

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The certificate submitted by Simpson was missing 15 convictions from 1981 to 2015.

He was interviewed and later charged.

Simpson’s duty lawyer said that the facts were accepted and “not lost on Mr Simpson in this instance.”

“He has been working as a crane operator for about 40 years, there was a period for about two years where he wasn’t getting much work at all,” his lawyer said.

He said Simpson had gotten his resume into a few different labour hire organisations and a work opportunity with Fremantle Cranes had been presented to him.

“He was required to submit a police clearance and he made, in his words, a really stupid decision to try and essentially paper over that history.”

When he asked Simpson why he would do something like this, his explanation was that he was “embarrassed by those convictions” and that when on site, a lot of the younger workers “look up to you”.

“He was desperate to get that work, he didn’t want to face that embarrassment and made a really poor decision,” the lawyer said.

The lawyer raised the possibility of a spent conviction, however Magistrate Belinda Coleman said she was not satisfied that Simpson was a person of prior good character.

Ms Coleman said: “I’m sure it has already been explained to you how very serious this matter is.”

“I want you to take away this strong message, that you should never attempt such a thing again, you might not be so successful in terms of the sentencing act.”

Simpson was fined $1500 and ordered to pay court cost of $264.30.

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