Homeless woman fined for alcohol theft

SHE took one bottle of rum from the store and then went back for more.

On December 13, Melissa Jan Chapman stole three bottles of alcohol from Dan Murphy’s in Bundaberg but was later caught out.

Chapman pleaded guilty to two counts of stealing in Bundaberg Magistrates Court on Monday.

Shortly after midday, Chapman took a bottle of rum from the shelf before putting it in her handbag.

She took another bottle of rum and a bottle of soft drink before proceeding to the check out where she paid for one bottle of alcohol and the soft drink, but not the other.

Chapman returned to the store after 1pm that same day where she stole another two bottles of alcohol.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Macushla Pattinson told the court on the second occasion, Chapman took a bottle of gin before going to the cold room where she put it in her handbag.

She then took another bottle of rum and left the business without paying for both of the bottles.

Her lawyer Gavin James told the court his client became homeless after her youngest child moved out of home.

Magistrate Andrew Moloney took into account Chapman’s plea of guilty and her personal circumstances.

Chapman received one fine for both charges of $200 and was ordered to pay $213 restitution.

A conviction was not recorded.



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