Cry Baby of the Week


Yesterday Fairfax pimped the poor again, and again it was over housing.

Stefanie Coulter thinks the house she has rented for the past eight years should be condemned.

There’s no insulation, some windows are taped over and some weatherboards have dry rot. You can spill a drink in the lounge and it will soak through the floorboards into the dirt they sit on.

It’s freezing in the winter, sometimes it’s warmer outside than in. There’s a fireplace, but Coulter can’t always afford the wood. Rats will sneak into the pantry, through the hole in the roof.

Coulter says the many layers of wallpaper are “keeping the house together” . She sleeps with her valuables nearby, in fear of a house fire caused by exposed wiring and the flammable scrim under the wallpaper.

For almost eight years, the two bedroom Vanguard St house has been her home, initially it was $250 a week, now it’s $300. She shares it with her partner and a flatmate. She can’t afford to move, for the location $300 is worth it, but the house is not, she says. She has a dog which stops her from finding much better.

“It should be condemned but I just can’t afford to move. Being on a joint benefit and out of work, neither one of us have the money to come up with a bond.”

The house has affected her health and social life.

Sounds dreadful doesn’t it.

The Nelson Mail produced that item, but they clearly don’t check their archives or even Google, because Stefanie Coulter is also known as?Stefanie Jayne Coulter, a convicted benefit fraudster.

A Nelson woman has been sentenced to four months’ home detention for ripping off the Ministry of Social Development to the tune of $40,000.

Stefanie Jayne Coulter, 24, had previously admitted 11 charges of using a document and one of making a wilful omission under the Social Security Act when she appeared for sentencing in the Nelson District Court yesterday.

In October 2003, Coulter applied for a domestic purposes benefit.

Judge Tony Zohrab said Coulter agreed to advise the ministry of any changes to her living or working arrangements that might affect her entitlements.

Subsequent inquiries discovered that she had begun living with her boyfriend in 2005.

She did not advise the ministry of the change, and on various occasions she neglected to state this fact when filling out review forms.

When the offending was discovered, Coulter told the ministry that her boyfriend was a boarder and was not supporting her child. Between April 2005 and September 2008, she was overpaid $40,014.

“It is talked about as an overpayment, but it basically constitutes theft from your fellow citizens, because it is money you are not entitled to,” Judge Zohrab told her.

Defence lawyer Steven Zindel said Coulter knew the offending was serious. Her relationship started after her boyfriend had moved into her home as a boarder, and was “on and off” and marked by violence and alcohol abuse.

Her boyfriend had a drug habit and spent a lot of money on his car, so Coulter was largely supporting herself and her daughter with the benefit, Mr Zindel said. It was her first offence, and she had admitted the charges quickly.

Judge Zohrab said the offending would have an impact on others who needed a benefit.

What has she learned in the 6 years since she was convicted for defrauding Social Welfare?

It appears not much, other than whinging about her predicament to media.

She is a bludger, and worse a criminal bludger. I bet she hasn’t even paid $1000 back of the more than $40,000 she stole.


– Fairfax