Thirsty bottle shop thief on verge of jail sentence
Bottle shop staff took chase after an already drunk thief legged it with two bottles of Bundaberg Rum.
Matthew Colin Harch walked into the Gatton View Hotel on Railway Street on March 31, where he grabbed two 750ml Bundy Rum bottles from the shelf.
He ran from the store and was chased down by several staff members and witnesses.
His stealing offence almost landed him in prison this week.
Prosecutor Rohan Brewster-Webb detailed the facts of the charges in the Gatton Magistrates Court on Monday, April 12.
Mr Brewster-Webb said the incident occurred at 4.25pm and police arrived at the hotel a short time later, arresting the 32-year-old.
“The defendant said he was drunk and wanted more alcohol,” Mr Brewster-Webb said.
The prosecutor highlighted Harch’s criminal history, which includes robbery.
Harch was represented by duty lawyer James Ryan, who said his client was a single father-of-two and a casual farm worker.
“Since being released from prison, he has done extremely well in caring for his children,” Mr Ryan said.
“He is certainly very remorseful. He apologised to the publican and in general you would say his rehabilitation has been successful.”
Harch pleaded guilty to one charge of stealing.
Magistrate Howard Osborne said Harch was on the verge of being jailed, due to his serious history.
“You’re on the line between a fine and imprisonment considering your history,” Mr Osborne said.
“Any further offending and you can expect imprisonment.”
Harch was fined $500 and a conviction was recorded.