Neil Arnold pleaded guilty to stealing and fraud in Gatton Magistrates Court.
Neil Arnold pleaded guilty to stealing and fraud in Gatton Magistrates Court.

Stolen credit card tempts chef’s bottle-o buy up

WITH an armful of wine bottles, a Scottish chef on a working holiday in Gatton approached the counter to pay when he noticed a credit card in the eftpos terminal.

Neil Danny Arnold, 26, who was shopping at the Gatton Plaza BWS on July 29, pocketed the card but paid for the wine with his own money.

Gatton Magistrates Court heard Arnold didn’t hand in the card but instead headed back into the store to grab a bottle of Jim Beam White Label, which he paid for with the card he had just found.

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Police prosecutor Rohan Brewster-Webb told the court that CCTV footage helped police link Arnold to the transaction, after the card’s owner reported it as missing.

The court heard Arnold threw the card under a car on his way out of the store.

“The victim realised he had lost his card, returned to the store and was unable to locate it,” Mr Brewster-Webb said.

The next day, police fronted Gatton Caravan Park to speak with Arnold.

“He (told police) he did attend the BWS but used his own card to purchase the wine … He saw the victim’s card and decided to use it to buy the bottle of Jim Beam,” Mr Brewster-Webb said.

“When questioned about the Jim Beam bottle, he said he had given it to a friend.”

Mr Brewster-Webb told Magistrate Kay Ryan he sought $62 restitution to cover the spirit.

Pleading guilty to fraud and stealing, Arnold told Magistrate Ryan he regretted his decision “every day”.

Duty lawyer James Ryan said his client had acted in the “spur of the moment”.

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“He’s embarrassed by his conduct … He’s happy to pay restitution and he was hoping that he could somehow pay compensation to the victim or make some further gesture of his remorse,” Mr Ryan said.

The court heard Arnold had no criminal history.

“Mr Dutton wouldn’t have let him in the country if he had history in Scotland,” Mr Ryan said.

Ms Ryan suggested Arnold write a letter of apology to the victim, which the police could pass on, and Arnold agreed.

Arnold was fined $400 and ordered to pay $62 restitution.

No conviction was recorded.

Read more news by Ebony Graveur.


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