Anthony William Higgins pleaded guilty to four stealing offences in Bundaberg Magistrates Court on Friday.
Anthony William Higgins pleaded guilty to four stealing offences in Bundaberg Magistrates Court on Friday.

Vodka thefts: Court hears how man stole from Dan Murphy’s

A COURT has heard how a man was using alcohol to self-medicate after he stole bottles of vodka from Dan Murphy’s on three different occasions.

Anthony William Higgins, 40, pleaded guilty in Bundaberg Magistrates Court on Friday to five offences including four stealing charges.

He appeared in court by videolink from the Maryborough Correctional Centre.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Tina Bland told the court on August 3 Higgins went to Dan Murphy’s on Targo St where he stole a bottle of Kalki Moon vodka by hiding it on himself.

Sen Const Bland said Higgins then went to the check-out where he tried to pay for a cask but the transaction was declined.

He then left the cask on the counter and left.

After staff grew suspicious they reviewed CCTV footage which showed Higgins stealing the alcohol.

Just days later he returned again and selected two bottles of vodka and hid one of them down his pants.

On his way out of the store staff asked Higgins to show them his bag.

Staff recognised him from the previous incident and again reviewed CCTV footage which showed Higgins hiding the bottles.

The court heard police went to all of Higgins’ known addresses and spoke to associates but were unable to find him.

On September 9 Higgins went back for more.

After 10am on that day he went back to Dan Murphy’s where he again picked up a bottle of vodka and hid it down his pants.

On July 19 Higgins went to the Everfresh supermarket where he stole a cheeseburger from the self-serve hot box and an energy drink in his jumper.

Higgins told police he was probably drunk at the time and that he couldn’t quite remember what happened.

Sen Const Bland said Higgins had committed the offences while on parole and that he had an extensive history in four states.

Higgins’ lawyer Lavonda Maloy told the court her client was diagnosed with depression 10 years ago and at the time he was not taking his medication.

She said Higgins was using alcohol to self-medicate as a result of a relationship break-up.

Ms Maloy said Higgins was motivated to get help with his issues once released from jail.

Magistrate Andrew Moloney took into account Higgins’ plea of guilty.

He described the offending as “low level” and “persistent”.

Higgins was sentenced to four months’ imprisonment with an immediate parole eligibility.



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