Homeless man avoids jail after stealing from hardware store
A MAN who stole batteries from Bunnings to get cash for food told a magistrate he was scared he would breach a probation order.
Wayne Joel Wildman, 28, pleaded guilty on Friday in Rockhampton Magistrates Court to one count of stealing, one of possessing a drug utensil, and one of driving while disqualified.
It was his fourth driving unlicenced type offence for which Magistrate Cameron Press ordered Wildman to a 12-month probation order, particularly after hearing from defence lawyer Rowan King that Wildman stole $400 of batteries from Bunnings to hock so he could eat as he was homeless and unemployed.
"I'm scared I'm going to breach it (probation),” Wildman told Mr Press, requesting a suspended sentence instead.
"That's the idea sir ,” Mr Press responded. "That's precisely the idea.
"You see, if you're scared of breaching probation, you should be doubly scared of breaching a suspended sentence.
"You've had a number of drug matters before the court over the years. It's going to send you to jail very shortly.”
Mr Press said driving disqualified was a lot more serious and Wildman was looking at a jail term if he did it again.
Wildman said: "Probation ask you to do stupid s---” and explained New South Wales probation officers wanted him to undertake a literacy program and counselling.
"Why would I need to do that?” he said.
Mr Press told Wildman they were trying to help him and probation was an opportunity for him to "move forward”.
"If you go out to Etna Creek (jail), you will be told what to do out there,” he said.
The father of three claimed he drove the car after he had to rush his partner to hospital for an emergency C-section and was returning the vehicle home when he was intercepted on October 28 on Gladstone Rd.
He was busted on August 12 with a pipe and stole the batteries on May 1 at 8.15pm from the garden power aisle.
Wildman accepted the probation order and Mr Press further ordered him to be disqualified from driving for two years.