Bundaberg father 'patsy' in theft of thousands from boss

A BUNDABERG father who helped another man allegedly steal thousands of dollars from his employer has been sentenced to community service.

Magistrate Deb Vasta said 29-year-old Bradley Robert Weekes had played a lesser role in the October, 2013 break-in at Aussie Living Furniture in which a cash tin, said to have held more than $6000, was stolen.

During sentencing, Mrs Vasta said Weekes had been the "patsy" for his co-offender who worked at the store at the time of the offence and allegedly took the bulk of the money, giving Weekes just $20 for his involvement.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Vicki Kennedy-Grills said police were called to the furniture store, which has since closed, on October 8 when employees arrived to find a cash tin had been stolen and CCTV equipment interfered with.

She said police investigating the matter determined that while a hole had been smashed in the glass, it was not the break-in point and that a key must have been used to gain entry.

"This was a calculated offence - an inside job so to speak," she said.

Defence lawyer Rian Dwyer said Weekes, who pleaded guilty to one count of entering a premises and committing an indictable offence, had smashed the glass for his alleged co-offender but had not entered the building or taken any items.

"Mr Weekes involvement in this was very, very minor," Mr Dwyer said.

"All he did was smash a window."

Mrs Vasta told Weekes if he hung out with the wrong people in situations like this he would be "equally as responsible for the stupid things they do".

Weekes' blood was found on the broken glass but not inside the business, supporting his claim that he smashed the glass and left.

"You've gone over there to buy drugs ... and this bloke has talked you into being his patsy," Mrs Vasta said.

"You suffer the consequences of their stupid behaviour."

He was sentenced to 80 hours of community service for the break-in, ordered to pay $20 restitution and received an additional 13 hours of community service in lieu of a fine for breaching probation.

Weekes' 22-year-old co-offender is yet to face court for the matter. Snr Const Kennedy-Grills said he had indicated a plea but there were negotiations ongoing about the amount of money claimed to have been in the tin.



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