Kleptomaniac on bail for 29 charges steals pair of thongs
THE words "I am a kleptomaniac" may not have been the best start for a Brisbane man seeking to convince a Gympie court to give him bail on two stealing charges.
But it got worse in yesterday for Peter Nicholas Reidy, 25, who appeared in custody in Gympie Magistrates Court yesterday.
Magistrate Chris Callaghan told Reidy the onus was on him to prove he presented a good risk of turning up for his next court appearance and not reoffending in the meantime.
This was because the Gympie offences were allegedly committed while Reidy was already on bail awaiting sentence for 29 other offences, including multiple counts of stealing and failing to appear in court.
Reidy, who was arrested on Sunday, pleaded guilty yesterday to stealing a pair of thongs from Drake's Super IGA supermarket on Saturday and three fruit drinks on Sunday.
The court was told Reidy had pleaded guilty to the 29 Brisbane charges and was due to be sentenced on February 17.
Reidy's attempt to escape police on Sunday, leading to a charge of obstructing justice had also raised doubt about his intentions of appearing in court as required.
Reidy told the court he was reluctant to plead guilty to the obstruction charge and did so "under duress."
Mr Callaghan refused to accept the guilty plea on that basis and told Reidy he needed legal advice before his next court appearance next Monday, pending a trial on March 16 on the obstruction charge.
Police told the court Reidy had been released on bail about a week prior to his weekend arrest in Gympie.
Reidy said he needed help with a stealing problem and expressed shame at the trivial nature of his Gympie offending, especially given the serious consequences.
"I know it's ridiculous," he said.
"It's a disorder where my brain doesn't apply normal thinking to it."
Reidy said he did not steal from little stores but only from big businesses.
Reidy repeatedly sought to enter a guilty plea and withdraw the claim he felt pressured into it, before saying: "I'm not capable of standing against this (system) that oppresses me.
Mr Callaghan said Reidy's obstruction charge was based on his trying to escape police.