A mother has pleaded guilty to stealing $270 that was accidentally left behind at self-service checkout at Marian.
A mother has pleaded guilty to stealing $270 that was accidentally left behind at self-service checkout at Marian.

The ‘stupid’ choice that landed this 53yo in court

A MACKAY mother's sticky fingers landed her in hot water after she pinched $270 accidentally left behind by another shopper at a Marian self-service checkout.

The victim was in the process of paying for her shopping at Woolworths about 9.28am on April 18 this year when she withdrew the cash from the till.

But Mackay Magistrates Court heard she walked off without taking her cash.

Patricia Margaret Jones had been standing nearby alone, waiting to pay for her shopping, when she approached the same till.

 

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Prosecutor David Epstein said Jones immediately turned her back to the security guard, who was about three metres away, and a CCTV camera.

He said she used her right hand to "retrieve the money from the machine at the same time as (she) is looking in the direction of the departing victim".

"With her back to the camera police are unable to determine if she's placed the money on her person or into her purse," Mr Epstein said.

The court heard the 53 year old continued to scan her items and paid using a bank card before leaving the store.

But when police spoke to Jones the following day she denied stealing the money and said she placed the cash on a shelf on the left side of the till.

The court heard when asked why she did not give the money to a Woolworths employee who was only two metres away, she told police she was "distracted" speaking to a friend.

 

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Mr Epstein said security footage did not support this version, instead showing her in line on her own not talking to anyone.

He said the footage also did not show Jones leaning over to place the money on the shelf as she had claimed.

Jones pleaded guilty to stealing.

Defence solicitor Jordana Abel, of McKays Solicitors, said her client "does accept the facts as set out in the (police brief)" and she entered an early plea.

Ms Abela said her client had no criminal history, which "supports the fact that this offending is very out of character for her".

"It's very sad to see someone of your vintage come to court for the first time for something as stupid as this," Magistrate Damien Dwyer said.

"But it was your choice, you made it.

"And we learn as we go on in life, you know well at your age, that there a consequence for everything we do, some good, some bad."

 

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Jones was fined $600 and ordered to pay $270 restitution. A conviction was not recorded.

"Don't be so silly," were Mr Dwyer's parting words.


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