A 41-year-old homeless man has pleaded guilty to stealing from the Gympie RSPCA op shop on Monkland St.
A 41-year-old homeless man has pleaded guilty to stealing from the Gympie RSPCA op shop on Monkland St. Contributed

Homeless father steals from Gympie RSPCA thrift shop

A HOMELESS father of two teenagers has landed a six-day stay in jail for swiping two radios, clothes and camping gear from the RSPCA's shop.

Sitting in the dock, 41-year-old Cameron Michael Waters quietly pleaded guilty to trespassing at and stealing from the Monkland St shop on two occasions, two more counts of failing to appear, and charges for marijuana possession and contravening a police order.

Waters, whom the court heard has been homeless for more than four years and suffered a brain injury when he was 16, sat in the dock as the charges were read, occasionally asking Magistrate Chris Callaghan to repeat them.

The first theft was on June 20, when he took a suitcase and radio from the store.

Court. File Photo

One month later, on July 21, he took another radio, clothing and camping equipment.

He first failed to appear in court on August 8, again on August 19, and had been in police custody since September 25.

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Solictor Elizabeth McAulay said Waters was homeless and on a disability pension due to his injury.

"He didn't appreciate that what he was doing was stealing,” she said.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: Gympie Magistrates Court, where a man has been warned he might easily have gone to jail.
Gympie Magistrates Court. Arthur Gorrie

"He is very sorry for the inconvenience has has caused.”

Magistrate Chris Callaghan sentenced Waters to the six days he had served in jail, and released him with six months probation.

"A short stint of probation might put you in touch with people who can help,” he said.