Stressed, depressed man, 62, fined for stealing groceries

AN elderly man was fined after he tried to walk out of the Maryborough Coles with a trolley filled with groceries.

John Peter Williams, 62, pleaded guilty in Maryborough Magistrates Court to shoplifting less than $150.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Kathryn Stagoll said police were called to Coles on February 3 after Williams tried to walk out of the store without paying.

Sgt Stagoll said CCTV footage showed Williams entering the supermarkets, walking around and placing a number of grocery items into his trolley before trying to leave without paying.

"He told police he was experiencing terrible depression," she said.

Sgt Stagoll said Williams claimed he had just not been paying attention.

Williams was stopped by security and all items were returned to Coles.

Defence lawyer Michael Riedel said Williams had no previous criminal history.

He said prior to the incident, Williams had taken over the care of a 14-year-old girl. Mr Riedel said Williams set up a mobile phone and internet account for the teenager who managed to accrue a $600 bill in just two months.

He said Williams was a disability pensioner and was under a lot of stress trying to pay back the bill with the small amount he earned on the pension.

Magistrate John Smith fined Williams $500.

A conviction was recorded.


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