STEALING TO COPE: A Gladstone man walked into Woolworths on December 12 and loaded up his trolley with 67 items.
STEALING TO COPE: A Gladstone man walked into Woolworths on December 12 and loaded up his trolley with 67 items. Paul Braven GLA150317WOOLIES

Man finds out ex is dating his best friend, steals to cope

A DOUBLE blow of bad news drove a Gladstone man to stealing.

After hearing news his ex-partner was shacking up with his best-friend and he was also denied access to his daughter, a court heard David John Roberts sought out an illegal method of coping.

Roberts pleaded guilty in the Gladstone Magistrates Court yesterday on one charge of stealing.

The court heard that on December 12 at about 1.50pm, Roberts, 27, walked into a Gladstone Woolworths and loaded up his trolley with 67 items.

He then walked out without paying for the goods, which were worth more than $480, according to police prosecutor Balan Selvadurai.

Mr Selvadurai said Roberts didn't get so far as the carpark before a staff member pulled him up on the unpaid items.

He said the trolley of groceries were recovered and the company was not seeking restitution.

Defence lawyer Cassandra Ditchfield said her client has only just broken up with his partner, whom he shared a two-year-old daughter with. She said he was only being allowed restricted visits to his daughter.

She said around the time of offending her client had also just heard of the relationship between his ex and his best friend.

"The separation has also put a financial burden on my client, and such the circumstances have driven to the offending," she said.

"He was drained; working more than full-time hours as a chef and bartender in Gladstone just to make ends meet.

"He has also been through quite a traumatic few years with the loss of a child, to the same woman, to a chromosome disorder six weeks after the child was born."

The court heard that around the time of the child's death, Roberts had committed a similiar offence, caught stealing from Toyworld, in a way of coping with the trauma.

Acting Gladstone Magistrate Jeffrey Clarke said Robert needed to find different methods of coping.

"Life throws challenges at us," he said.

"And in those times we need to reach out for help and deal with these situations in other ways."

He fined Roberts $500 and recorded a conviction.


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