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Binge led to theft

A Warwick man stole a woman’s laptop computer after binging on alcohol and cocaine.

Ernest Smith, of Harbour Road, said he regretted the theft almost immediately, and had a member of the public call the police.

The 35-year-old pleaded guilty in Magistrates’ Court to stealing the Sony laptop and a bag - the two items were valued at $1,250.

In Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, Crown counsel Takiyah Burgess said Smith started a conversation with the woman at around 8.30pm when she was standing by her parked motorcycle on Reid Street.

He suddenly grabbed her bag - containing the laptop - from her bike and ran. A bystander attempted to block his path, but Smith climbed over a fence and into Par-la-Ville Park.

Smith approached a member of the public on Washington Street around 9.05pm. That person contacted the police. The stolen items were returned, and Smith was arrested.

Duty counsel Leo Mills told the court that the defendant had battled drug addiction for years and that day had suffered a relapse.

“His judgment was severely impaired, and the offence itself was impulsive,” Mr Mills said. “He realised almost immediately that he had done something wrong and he turned himself in to a member of the public.”

Smith apologised for the incident, telling the court: “I don’t want to go back down that road. I have got two beautiful boys and a fiancee.”

Senior Magistrate Archibald Warner noted that Smith had a long string of past offences, and adjourned sentencing until March so that updated reports can be carried out.

“You can be kind and merciful, but in the end the public must be protected,” he said.

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Published February 17, 2012 at 1:00 am (Updated February 17, 2012 at 5:47 am)

Binge led to theft

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