Footy player stole club's pre-mix booze, now plays on side

ASPIRING rugby league player Zacharia Lapin broke into a football team clubhouse with the help of a mate then stuffed dozens of bottles of booze into sports bags and headed off.

Club officers discovered the break in and the serious loss of $1278 worth of alcohol.

Appearing before a Monto court (held in Gladstone), Lapin, 17, went before magistrate Melanie Ho and pleaded guilty to breaking into the Monto Combined Sports Association club house and stealing between April 5 and April 7.

Prosecutor Sgt Barry Stevens said the rugby league club had a bar and members left it locked on April 5 but two days later the break in was discovered and alcohol missing.

"Entry was gained by kicking the front door which broke the lock mechanism," he said.

"He admits he was there when the door was kicked open and admits stealing the alcohol which was put into sports bags."

Sgt Stevens said the $1278 worth of alcohol was in bottles and included two 700ml bottles of Bundaberg Rum; six bottles of vodka; four bottles of Johnny Walker Scotch; seven bottles of Jim Beam; and 48 bottles premix vodka's.

None of the alcohol was recovered.

The club also sought restitution for the stolen alcohol.

Lapin accepted half the financial responsibility because the break and theft was done in the company of a younger mate.

Sgt Stevens said because the co-offender was a juvenile the Juvenile Justices Act took a different consideration in regard to whether a child had the capacity to pay compensation.

As a result police sought Lapin to pay the full amount, Sgt Stevens saying the loss of so much alcohol to a small sports club like Monto had a significant financial impact.

He said a good behaviour bond was not appropriate because specific deterrence was needed although Lapin had not history of offending.

Magistrate Ho said she was not mindful to order him to pay full restitution.

The court then heard that Lapin had done the right thing by approaching the club.

He had shown remorse, now plays football in the team and now does other tasks to help out.

Ms Ho asked Lapin what he intended to do with his life and the teen replied he wanted to get an apprenticeship as a plumber.

"Do you understand that drinking or stealing does not help," Ms Ho said.

Noting that he had pleaded guilty early and shown remorse, Ms Ho reduced the penalty.

she would otherwise have imposed.

She placed Lapin on a $200 own recognizance not to reoffend with four months good behaviour.

The conviction was not recorded.

Lapin must also repay half of the alcohol value at $639

Topics:  booze court food

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