No-go zone: Administrators are yet to finalise the affairs of the shut-down Killarney Abattoir.
No-go zone: Administrators are yet to finalise the affairs of the shut-down Killarney Abattoir.

Man attempted to steal fridge

A FORMER employee of the Killarney Abattoir has been fined $300 for attempting to steal a refrigerator from the now-defunct Leitch Pastoral Group plant.

Steven Arthur Taylor, 50, of Killarney, was nabbed by a security guard in the act of trying to remove the fridge from the former abattoir staff room on the evening of March 14.

While his covert whitegoods recovery operation might well be applauded by the 200-plus creditors owed money by abattoir owner Dudley Leitch, Taylor pleaded guilty in the Warwick Magistrates Court on Wednesday to one charge of attempted theft.

The court was told the night-watchman on duty at the abattoir – which shut down on February 9 – was patrolling about 6.30pm on the Sunday in question.

He observed a vehicle parked near the staff room building and, upon inspecting the area, discovered Taylor engaged in the act of unplugging the fridge with an apparent view to removing it.

Forced to leave the fridge where it was after being thwarted, Taylor gave the security guard a false name, but his identity was later confirmed by the Killarney Police who investigated the matter.

Defence counsel for Taylor told the court his client had gone to the abattoir with the intention of recovering his own fridge which he had lent for use in the staff room.

But upon arrival, he found a different fridge in its place, and being unaware of the whereabouts of his own appliance, decided to take the one he found as something of a fair trade.

In sentencing Taylor, Magistrate Smid accepted this was “a mitigating factor” and fined him $300, without recording a conviction.

It seems the unrecovered fridge is about as close as anyone who is owed money by Leitch Pastoral Group is likely to get to it, with receivers Grant Thornton still working through the affairs of the abattoir and its similarly shut-down counterparts Condamine River Meats and Pittsworth Food Processors.

The Daily News made several calls to the Brisbane offices of Grant Thornton for an update on the $7.7 million owed to creditors but no response was received by close of business on Thursday. Grant Thornton alone is charging $485 an hour as administrators of the troubled Leitch firms.



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