Diamond setter pawned rings he was to fit
A FORMER diamond setter who pawned gold rings that jewellers had given him to work on has been ordered to repay more than $18,000 and placed on probation.
Grant Leroy Wood, 48, told Brisbane Magistrates Court he committed the offences after turning to alcohol and becoming homeless after a marriage break-up.
Wood, of Redland Bay, pleaded guilty to six offences, including three counts of stealing and one of fraud.
The court heard Wood was supplied with rings by Wallace Bishop at Newstead and a Brisbane inner city jeweller so he could work on them, but he did not return them.
Instead, he took them to a pawn broker, after removing the diamonds, obtaining money from a gold broker as a result of the fraud, Magistrate Rosemary Gilbert said.
Wood, now a truck driver, told the court he had since apologised to the jewellers who had trusted him with their rings.
He said after he separated from his wife, he had been homeless, sleeping in a car and squatting.
Wood, who represented himself in court, said he began drinking a lot during working hours and his work and income suffered.
He said he made some silly choices at the time, in a bid to feed himself, and his "fall from grace" was "pretty quick".
He said since committing the offences in 2017, he had left the jewellery trade, found work as a truck driver, stopped drinking to excess and he had a new partner.
Ms Gilbert said imprisonment was not warranted because of Wood's circumstances, the fact he was working and he had made peace with those he had defrauded.
She ordered him to be on probation for 18 months and pay $16,950 compensation to Wallace Bishop and $1323 compensation to the other jeweller.
The court was told Wood had repaid $40 for petrol stolen from a service station. He was also fined $200 for a failure to appear in court.
Ms Gilbert did not record convictions.