Meat thief sent to drug treatment court

A 52-year-old man who stole $164 of frozen meat from a grocery store has been remanded to drug treatment court.

Dean Burgess pleaded guilty in Magistrates’ Court this morning to stealing a leg of lamb and three racks of lamb from the Heron Bay MarketPlace on February 9.

The court heard that staff at the store saw Burgess pick up the meat from the frozen food section and then walk out of the store without paying.

A manager followed Burgess to the parking lot and confronted him, noticing the leg of lamb bulging out of the back of Burgess’s jacket.

When the manager attempted to take back the leg, the rest of the meat fell out of the jacket.

The manager subsequently brought Burgess back into the store and contacted the police.

Prosecutor Susan Mulligan suggested that Burgess receive a short prison sentence, saying that while the offence in itself was not the most serious, the defendant had been convicted of multiple offences since 1978.

She also noted that Burgess had a number of unpaid fines, and as such would likely not be able to pay for a fine.

However, the court also heard that Burgess had been struggling with drug addiction, and his drug issues recently resurfaced in the wake of knee surgery.

Senior Magistrate Juan Wolffe ordered both a social inquiry report and a drug assessment be carried out on Burgess, releasing the defendant on $1,000 bail with a like surety until next week’s session of drug treatment court.

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