Defendant likely to reoffend

HOMELESS, no job, no skills and no prospects was how Magistrate Maxine Baldwin described habitual offender Kiel Richards, 18, when he appeared in the Gympie Magistrates Court on stealing charges.

Richards had already served 21 days in custody when he pleaded guilty to stealing items left outside St Vincent de Paul, three energy drinks and a caramel sweet from Caltex, and for failing to report to the police station.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Lisa Manns said the crimes appeared opportunistic but not particularly serious. She said Richards was spotted riding a bicycle while towing a travel suitcase through Gympie on December 26 and it was discovered the suitcase and the items inside had been taken from St Vincent de Paul. He was charged with stealing and given bail with a reporting condition however, one month later he was seen on CCTV footage stealing from the Caltex 24-hour service station on January 23.

“Let’s be frank,” Magistrate Baldwin said, acknowledging Richards’ situation. “He’s going to keep stealing.”

“(His offences) don’t scream out that he’s bad,” defence solicitor Chris Anderson said.

“He has no money ... that’s why he commits (these crimes).”

Richards was placed on an intensive correction order for six months and ordered to do 30 hours community service with time served declared punishment for the breach.

Gympie Times


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