A GYMPIE cancer victim stole an $8500 diamond ring and hid it under his hat after his fiancee lost her engagement ring, but vowed yesterday he would never have given her the stolen token of love.
Quick action by Gympie police was praised by the owners of Gympie Manufacturing Jewellers after Daniel Watson, 33, walked into their Cullinane's Plaza store on the morning of May 4, and walked out with the 18-carat ring.
The ring was back on display an hour later.
Watson told Gympie Magistrates Court yesterday he had leukemia and was on heavy pain medication, antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication.
He said he could not understand why he took the ring and was so ashamed of himself he felt sick.
"I wanted to go back and say I was sorry," he said.
"I felt like a little kid. I wanted to sit down and cry."
Indeed, Watson returned to the store two times in the hour following the theft.
When police searched him, he took off his hat and there was a wad of tissues under it. When he threw the tissues in a bin, the police heard a "clinking sound". It was the ring.
Watson was given six months probation.