Judge gavel, scales of justice and law books in court generic Townsville
Judge gavel, scales of justice and law books in court generic Townsville

Man's 'desperate act' to feed family left him behind bars

A "DESPERATE act" to put food on the table has backfired for a man who was yesterday sentenced to remain in custody.

Steven William Meier appeared via audio visual link in Grafton Local Court charged with resist arrest and stealing.

Meier pleaded guilty to all charges.

The court heard Meier made the "risky" decision on March 10 to enter a Bunnings store, which had several CCTV cameras, and nab a torch worth more than $100 because his family was in desperate need of food.

He then allegedly led police on a chase from his home after jumping over a fence in an attempt to flee.

Meier's solicitor submitted her client got only about 500 metres "around the corner" before he was "crash tackled" to the ground.

She also said her client thought he "would have a quick chance of selling the torch for cash" and called his act a "crime of necessity".

"My client realises there was a lot at stake, he is remorseful for what happened, he needed some instant cash to buy food," she said.

Meier was on parole at the time of the theft for drug-related charges.

He said: "Each time I get caught by police it had to do with my family situation," Meier said.

"It was a desperate act".

Magistrate Karen Stafford sentenced Meier to a fixed term of four months in full-time custody backdated to March 10.

Ms Stafford said full-time custody appeared the "only thing that can get the message through" and there appeared to be some "degree of planning" the theft.

She said there was "significant need" to stop Meier re-offending and took into account that the torch had been returned to Bunnings.