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Man cops court penalty after mate commits store robbery

A 40-YEAR-OLD man has added nearly $1000 to his hefty sper debt after appearing in Bundaberg Magistrates Court on Monday.

Boris Richard Chatfield pleaded guilty to driving without a licence and stealing after a previous conviction.

On January 21, Chatfield entered the Harvey Norman Bundaberg store on Takalvan St with his family and a friend.

While browsing the store, he saw an item on the stop shelf which he thought was a drone.

The item was actually a home security system valued at more than $1000, which he showed a friend before putting back on the shelf.

Before leaving the store, Chatfield's friend picked up the security system and left the store without paying for it.

The court heard Chatfield currently had a SPER debt, of which the sum is thousands of dollars, and he has an extensive criminal history in both Queensland and New South Wales.

He has also previously served prison time.

Chatfield's lawyer told the court that his client was currently unemployed and had been unable to pay his current SPER debt due to not working.

Chatfield told the magistrate that he was keen to undertake any form of work such as labour work or picking produce, but hadn't sought any as he didn't want to disappoint his potential employer and miss work because of court appearances.

Magistrate Bronwyn Hartigan took into account Chatfield's plea of guilty, lengthy history and his large sper debt.

She sentenced Chatfield to six months imprisonment wholly suspended for 18 months and also ordered him to pay $698 restitution.

For driving without his licence he was fined $300 and disqualified from driving for one month.

Ms Hartigan told Chatfield it was important for him to find employment.

"It's important you get that employment so you can start paying off that SPER fine or you could find yourself suspended again,” she said.

"It's important when you come before this court, and hopefully you won't, but if you do having that SPER fine could limit what can be done by a magistrate.”

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