Maryborough Court House.
Maryborough Court House. Jodie Callcott

Couple 'freaked out' and stripped fully-furnished rental

A COUPLE who stole furniture, linen and electrical appliances from a rental property told a court they needed them.

Maryborough Magistrates Court heard Felicity Phae Poole, 38 and James John Rougvie, 40, were charged with stealing and wilful damage.

The court heard they rented a fully-furnished Woocoo property between October 4 and December 18, 2018.

On December 6, Poole contacted the landlord and said the family would have to move out because they couldn't afford to pay rent.

Police prosecutor senior constable Angela Trevaskis said on December 17, the 63-year-old landlord inspected the property and found "lots of rubbish" around the yard.

Snr Const Trevaskis said furniture, electrical appliances, carpet and linen were stolen.

On New Year's Eve, police went to a Maryborough motel to question Poole and Rougvie about the missing items.

While there, they found a ute with a bar fridge and outdoor furniture, stolen from the Woocoo property.

Snr Const Trevaskis said police returned to the motel on January 1 with a search warrant and seized most of the missing items.

Duty lawyer Natasha Schumacher said her clients had eight children between them.

She said Poole was pregnant with another baby.

Ms Schumacher said Poole suffered agoraphobia which had spiralled out of control in the lead-up to the move because they had nowhere to live and no money to support their children.

She said the pair "freaked out" and made an unfortunate and ill-informed decision to take the items.

Poole pleaded guilty to stealing and wilful damage.

She was fined $1500 and ordered to pay $1405 in restitution, with no conviction recorded.

Rougvie pleaded guilty to wilful damage, stealing and breach of bail conditions.

He was convicted and sentenced to four months in jail which was immediately suspended.

He was also ordered to pay $1405 in restitution.