A mum has admitted to using a Woolies trolley to assault an employee who confronted her over items that had not been paid for. Picture: Adam Ward
A mum has admitted to using a Woolies trolley to assault an employee who confronted her over items that had not been paid for. Picture: Adam Ward

‘Right to steal’: Magistrate’s spray over Woolies assault

A JUDGE has expressed his outrage over people who think they are within their rights to abuse supermarket staff after being caught stealing.

Ipswich Magistrate Rob Turra unleashed on an Ipswich mum who used a trolley to assault a supermarket worker after being confronted over unpaid goods.

Mr Turra this on Friday called the behaviour of beauty therapist Brooke Bobak Brown "disgraceful".

Brooke Ashley Bobak Brown, 28, a mother of three from Minden, pleaded guilty in Ipswich Magistrates Court to committing common assault on the employee at Woolworths supermarket at Fernvale on February 22.

In a Crown prosecution case, legal officer Brittany Reynolds said Bobak Brown entered Woolworths Fernvale with two female co-accused.

The other two women scanned items at the self-checkout while Bobak Brown waited near the exit.

Ms Reynolds said when the male staff member confronted Bobak Brown and two co-accused about unpaid items in the trolley, Bobak Brown began yelling, grabbing items from the trolley and scanning them.

The court was told that during the verbal confrontation she twice pushed the metal trolley into the complainant.

One of the other females pushed the man in the chest.

Ms Reynolds clarified that Bobak Brown was not charged with stealing the goods.

The court heard Bobak Brown had previous convictions for assault.

Bobak Brown's defence lawyer said she did take several items out of the trolley to scan, and her yelling was due to a panic attack.

He said she accepts that her actions were wrong.

"She lost everything in a house fire in 2017. Her daughter fell ill with a virus and lives with a permanent brain injury," the lawyer told the court.

Mr Turra noted Bobak Brown had a history of similar offending, with a suspended jail term imposed in 2014 for assault.

"It is absolutely disgraceful behaviour," he said.

"It is almost as though people think they have got a right to go in and steal.

"The public through the courts won't stand for this.

"Your mates behaved abhorrently on the day, attempting to steal items.

"And when caught, think you can take these people on who are only doing their jobs."

Mr Turra convicted and sentenced Bobak Brown to an 18-month probation order.



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