Worker pawned tools to fund drug addiction

A DRUG-ADDICTED labourer pawned his employer's tools to fund his heroin habit.

It was a decision Adam Lee Clark has come to regret after he appeared in Ipswich Magistrates Court yesterday in relation to the crime.

For about four months, the 35-year-old committed a series of dishonest and fraudulent acts in order to make some quick cash.

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Magistrate Virginia Sturgess said Clark had used his work's Bunnings card to buy tools from the hardware chain, which he then sold to a pawn shop.

In addition, he also shoplifted from Bunnings and pawned tools that his boss had supplied to him.

He also stole $6000 worth of manhole covers from his employer and sold them for scrap metal for about $200.

In total, Clark faced 34 charges in relation to his offending which began in May last year. The offences included stealing, fraud and stealing by a clerk or servant.

Defence lawyer Mike Kelly said Clark had a heroin addiction at the time of the offending and committed the crimes to fund the expensive drug habit.

Mr Kelly said it had been his client's original intention to pawn the items for cash then get them back later.

Since he was charged, Mr Kelly said Clark had been attending drug counselling, was on the methadone program and had found other work after he was fired by his employer.

He said Clark was remorseful for his actions, had cooperated with police during their investigations and had no prior criminal history.

Ms Sturgess said she was concerned by the regularity of Clark's offences, with instances where he committed the same crime three days in a row.

"You developed quite a pattern of taking items from your employer - or from Bunnings - and selling them at the pawnbrokers," she told Clarke.

"I am sure your employer is as disappointed in you as you are in yourself."

Mr Kelly said Clark had $1252 deducted from his final pay to go towards what he owed his employer.

Clark pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a year in jail, suspended for two years for the stealing by a clerk or servant charge.

He was also put on a probation order for two years for the additional fraud and stealing charges.

As a condition of parole is understood Clark will be subject to random drug tests. He was also ordered to pay restitution of $4748 to his former employer and $2117.50 to the pawnbrokers.


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