Kandanga man avoids jail for theft

A YOUNG Kandanga man, who pawned a plasma television and a Sony Play Station he hired from a rental store, managed to avoid going to jail yesterday when he appeared in Gympie Magistrates Court on stealing and fraud charges.

When Nathan Shane Balderson, 24, committed the crimes in August and September last year, he was serving a six-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, for driving while disqualified and over the general alcohol limit.

The court heard that on August 13, Balderson entered into a rental agreement for a 46-inch LG plasma and a Sony Play Station. He signed a 36-month contract but by January 6, a complaint was made to police about him because he stopped making payments and was not responding to any correspondence.

Balderson was identified from the paperwork of two local pawn shops where he sold the television for $270 and the Play Station for $150. He was interviewed and charged by police on January 29.

In Balderson's defence, solicitor Corey Jenkins said his client had needed money because he lost his job and was forced to move out of the house he was renting in Brisbane. “The hired goods were the only things of value in his possession at the time,” he told the court and asked the magistrate to extend the suspended prison term instead of activating it and said jail would be too severe a penalty for the offences.

“Jail is not a place you should consider going to… but sadly for you that's where you're headed,” Magistrate Maxine Baldwin told Balderson.

“Your traffic history shows your youthful stupidity,” she said and listed his repeat appearances before the courts for traffic offences including a large number of disqualified driving charges.

The court learned that Balderson was disqualified from driving until November 2012 but that his criminal history was “normal youthful nonsense” of behavioural offences and minor drug charges. “You've been given a fair few chances … if you end up in jail you can only blame yourself.”

Balderson, of Kandanga Creek Road, Kandanga Creek, had his suspended sentence extended by six months to September 2011.

The latest charges had also breached a probation order and Balderson was re-sentenced to another period of probation for two years. For the current charges, he was placed on an intensive corrections order for six months and ordered to pay the restitution by March 22, 2011.

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