A BIPOLAR sufferer accused of defrauding a Gunnedah business has been found not guilty by reason of mental illness.
Judge Jeffery McLennan gave his judgment in the case of the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, in Tamworth District Court this week.
In 2015, the Gunnedah man created two fake companies: an IT company run by an alias and a media company headed by a non-existent character.
"I thought I was going to be the next Bill Gates: filthy rich," he had told forensic psychiatrist, Dr Stephen Alnutt, who gave his expert opinion for the Crown.
Using the two companies, the accused applied for a 30-day term account with Complete Office Supplies.
In a manic bipolar episode, the man made several orders for USB drives, crayons, coffee and computer ware that he would have delivered to a local freight company, before he picked it up himself.
Later he made an order under the false IT company for 11 laptops on January 6, 2016, at a total cost of $8521.
More than two weeks later, he ordered 20 more laptops under an alias, but that purchase was blocked by staff.
A month later he used a second false company to purchase another 13 laptops for $7039.50.
Seven of those were delivered to an address in Brisbane and the other six to the local freight company, but a stop was put on the delivery.
His plan was to fraudulently buy and on-sell laptops to fund a designer toy company, a QR code company and a regional sports phone application, the court heard.
'I wouldn't say it's fraudulent'
In May 2016, the man was taken to Gunnedah Police Station for questioning, telling police he thought there was nothing wrong with using fake names because "actors do it all the time".
"I wouldn't say it's fraudulent, it's just a name I have used," the man told police.
"This was just one where things became a shit fight for no particular reason. I've had jobs cancelled at the last minute because of my name on Google."
He would spend every waking moment frantically writing code, the court heard, and regularly stay up until 3 or 4am.
Both the forensic psychiatrist for the Crown and the defence argued his ability was impaired to know his actions were wrong.
Judge McLennan said he had to put aside his misgivings about the man's mental state.
"It might suggest a combination of an absence of a genuine episode of mania at all, or the wool pulled firmly over the eyes of two psychiatrists," he said.
"But both have far more experience in the assessment of mental illness than I do, and I do not feel able to reject them."
The man was ordered into psychiatric treatment at a Toronto hospital. His psychiatrist must permit his release.