A MAN who stole $350 worth of candles from a Baldivis newsagency said he did it to buy food.
Nicolas Lee Cockerill appeared at Rockingham Magistrates Court yesterday where he pleaded guilty to a count of stealing.
He was sentenced to 40 hours community services, while his partner Narelle Correia also pleaded guilty to stealing from the same incident and was fined $200.
The prosecutor said the pair went into the Lucky Charm Newsagency at Stockland Baldivis Shopping Centre.
While pushing a trolley Cockerill selected the candles and placed them in the trolley while Correia selected a $50 candle and placed it in the trolley.
They left the store without paying and were challenged by a staff member about the thefts.
Cockerill then threw the candles back at the staff member.
The candles were damaged in the incident and unable to be sold.
The duty lawyer for Cockerill said the facts were accepted.
“He has been under financial stress, he’s not working and was going to sell them to buy food and for a roof over the heads of his young family,” she said.
She said as he had difficulty reading and writing he had not sorted out his previous court fines.
Magistrate Leanne Atkins said the court staff would help.
“We have some of the nicest court staff – I don’t accept that he can’t talk to them,” she said.
“He has fines outstanding from May and September 2017 and February this year.
“So fines are having no impact on Mr Cockerill.”
“I have very little sympathy with this man.
“Obviously fines have very little impact on you – there will be 40 hours of community service work.
“When people like you steal we all have to pay more through rising insurance premiums for these shops.”