How far does a $50 budget go when playing the pokies?
How far does a $50 budget go when playing the pokies?

Refugee jailed for stealing pokie player's wallet

AN IRANIAN refugee has been jailed for stealing a man's wallet at a pub while on a suspended sentence for similar offending.

Morteza Jalilvand, 33, had spent the night in custody before appearing in Toowoomba Magistrates Court to plead guilty to stealing the wallet as well as to drug driving.

The court heard a man had been playing the pokies at the Royal Hotel in Gatton about 6pm, March 17, when he dropped the wallet under his seat.

Jalilvand had then picked up the wallet and left the hotel, later telling police he had taken about half of the $850 cash that was in the wallet. He then discarded the wallet in a garden in the hope someone would find it and hand it in.

However, the wallet and contents were not handed in, police prosecutor Sergeant Natalie Bugden told the court.

Jalilvand also admitted driving with cannabis in his system in Brisbane on December 12.

His solicitor Shane MacDonald said his client came to Australia seven years ago as a refugee and had been working on farms in the Gatton area.

His client had developed some gambling problems, Mr MacDonald said.

Magistrate Damian Carroll said the matter was serious and sentenced Jalilvand to three months in jail but ordered he be released on parole as of April 28 after one month.

Jalilvand was disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver's licence for three months on the drug driving offence.