Magistrate laughs at motel thief during court appearance
A FORMER employee of the Chinchilla Motor Inn has pleaded guilty to stealing over $600 from motel guests and being in possession of a dangerous drug.
William John Morris pleaded guilty to eight charges of trespassing, attempted enter dwelling with intent and five charges of enter dwelling and possession of dangerous drugs on Tuesday morning at Dalby Magistate Court.
As senior constable Jodie Tahana recalled the events of August last year, Morris looked at the ground in embarrassment and shook his head.
"In the beginning of August 2019, the defendant began living in room 48 of the Park Street Motor Inn with a key he had kept after his employment had been ceased," Snr const Tahana said.
"The defendant would then use the key to enter other rooms where he would proceed to take money out of guests' wallets."
Snr const Tahana then recalled the multiple occasions the defendant made proceeded to take money from the victims.
"On August 15, police found the defendant asleep in room 47 of the motel with a travel bag.
"As police searched the bag they found .1 gram of a crystal like substance and a glass pipe contained in a sunglasses case."
"Once police notified the owners of the motel, it was apparent that the defendant was also behind the theft of other guests money."
The 40-year-old co-operated with police and said he had left the door open during the day while also using a window to open rooms at the business.
"In total the defendant stole $675 from motel guests."
Magistrate Tracey Mossop laughed as the facts were read out.
"Well at least you were an considerate thief and left their wallets behind," Magisrate Mossop said.
Duty Lawyer Claire Graham explained to the court that her client had experienced relationship problems at the time of the thefts.
"He was experiencing relationships problems at the time and much to his embarrassment he turned to drugs, something he heavily regrets today," Ms Graham said.
Magistrate Mossop was sympathetic towards Morris after he provided the court with a clean urine sample and said that he had turned his life around and in the process of accepting a job at a cattle station.
Morris was fined $1000 and sentenced to two months imprisonment with a suspended eight month sentence.
The father-of-two was also ordered to repay $675 to the victims.
A conviction was recorded.