He loved a massage... just not paying for it

A RECOVERING drug addict had a penchant for a relaxing massage but unfortunately he didn't have an addiction to paying for it, a Toowoomba court has been told.

Cairns man Timothy Theodorus Van Der Zalm had been in Toowoomba doing a six-month drug rehabilitation program, Toowoomba Magistrates Court heard.

However, on August 11 and August 14, the 27-year-old had enjoyed a 45-minute massage for which he had talked his way out of paying.

On the first occasion, he had told the staff of the Grand Central boutique that his mother was in the shopping centre and that she would pay for the massage later.

When his mother didn't show, Van Der Zalm had left his mobile phone at the store and left.

He returned the next day for his phone, admitting the story about his mother was "fiction", police prosecutor Christie Mahoney told the court.

When police spoke with the 27-year-old, he said he thought he would have had money in his account to pay for the massage.

Just three days later, Van Der Zalm had pulled the same stunt at another massage boutique where he received a 45-minute massage but again failed to pay the $60 bill, Senior Constable Mahoney said.

He pleaded guilty to both counts of fraud as well as to shop-lifting three cans of Smirnoff Ice Vodka from a Grand Central liquor mart on August 14 and to shop-lifting four cans of the same drink from the same store on August 20.

Duty lawyer Phil Stainton told the court his client instructed that he was doing a six-month rehabilitation course in Toowoomba but the offending had occurred during a two-week period when he had been suspended from the program after an incident.

However, his client had since returned to the rehabilitation program and was doing quite well, he said.

His client claimed that the time he had been attending the program had been the longest period he had been clean of "ice" for some time.

Acting Magistrate Roger Stark said Van Der Zalm's offending was serious.

"Your offending was quite brazen," he told him.

Mr Stark fined Van Der Zalm $600 and ordered he pay two lots of restitution of $60 each for the two massages and another $35 for the seven cans of vodka he had stolen.

Topics:  drug rehabilitation editors picks fraud ice massage toowoomba court

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