Dad says he stole to feed kids, yet bought smokes

AN IPSWICH father has put feeding his nicotine habit above feeding his kids.

At Ipswich Magistrates Court, Daniel Alvis Elzinga pleaded guilty to a charge of stealing.

Mr Elzinga had been caught shoplifting $9.20 worth of ham and a can of energy drink at Woolworths on November 11.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Trent Voigt told the court this week the 43-year-old was seen concealing the items on himself. He bought a pack of cigarettes and some milk at the checkout and tried to leave the supermarket without paying for the other groceries.

Elzinga told the court the theft was a "stupid thing to do" but that it was done out of necessity.

He said he did not have enough money to pay for the ham and stole it so that his children could have something to eat.

His excuse, however, prompted Magistrate Barry Cosgrove to point out the glaring fact that Elzinga had enough money to buy cigarettes.

"The cheapest pack of cigarettes costs about $15 these days. That would have been more than enough to pay for the ham," he said. "You just decided that you wanted some cigarettes more than you wanted to provide lunch for your kids."

Elzinga was fined $250 and was ordered to pay $12.06 restitution for the stolen items.

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